Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh has ended 24x7 power supply to Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented in Parliament by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, indicating a rift between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress. The move was taken by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp Ltd, officials said on Friday.
The nine-month-old decision to provide round-the-clock electricity to these two places was revoked late on Thursday, after which power went off for more than four hours, officials said. The Akhilesh Yadav government had run into rough weather when the power regulatory authority had sought a reply from it on the logic behind giving 24x7 power supply to nine districts, including Rae Bareli and Amethi.
This was when other parts of the sprawling state faced acute power shortage. While officials were mum on the matter, some privy to the decision said from now on, VIP districts would also get "normal" power supply.
"I would not like to draw any political inference," a senior UPPCL official said. Officials justified the move. "With the onset of summer, power demand is at its peak. We have to devise ways to accommodate every district," an official said.
Uninterrupted power supply, however, continues to other VIP zones like Mainpuri (Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's Lok Sabha constituency), Kannauj (Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple's constituency), Etawah (home district of the Yadav family), Sambhal (constituency of Mulayam's nephew Dharmendra Singh Yadav) and Rampur (home turf of UP cabinet minister Mohd Azam Khan).
Congress spokesman Amarnath Agarwal said the move smacked of politics. He asked why some districts continued to get uninterrupted power supply if power shortage was really the reason behind the move.
Rae Bareli once elected late prime minister Indira Gandhi to the Lok Sabha. Congress president Sonia Gandhi used to represent Amethi earlier in parliament before her son entered electoral politics. The Samajwadi Party provides crucial parliamentary support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition.