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Kejriwal to begin indefinite hunger strike against power bills

Updated: March 23, 2013, 7:45 AM IST
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Kejriwal to begin indefinite hunger strike against power bills
The AAP convenor branded his protest against Delhi government as a 'civil disobedience movement' and asked people to join it by not paying their power and water bills.

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal will begin his indefinite hunger strike from Saturday. Kejriwal intends to launch a "civil disobedience movement", asking Delhi residents not to pay their "illegal" electricity and water bills.

Unlike his previous fasts, this one will not be held at Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan, but at a party volunteer's home. On the eve of his indefinite fast, Kejriwal promised that any legal action against those who follow his lead and not pay bills would be revoked once his Aam Aadmi Party comes to power in the city.

He also attacked the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party saying its agitation against the hike in power and water tariff was just an election gimmick and it was hand-in-glove with the Congress. "People are forced to pay their bills through their nose due to fear of legal action against them. To instill confidence in them, I would be on indefinite fast from tomorrow," Kejriwal told reporters.

"The aim of my fast, which will begin from a house in Sunder Nagari, is to rally more and more people against the illegal bills," he added. Kejriwal appealed to people not to pay the bills and said if more and more won't pay and join the "civil disobedience movement", government and the discoms won't take against against them.

"Even if some people face legal action, then they must not panic as all the legal cases would be withdrawn after his party comes to power in Assembly election in November," he said. When asked if he was provoking people to break the law, he said Mahatma Gandhi had himself said that one should not obey the law if it's against people and be prepared to face its consequences.

Targeting the BJP, the activist-turned- politician said, "BJP had the copy of the order of former Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman to reduce the tariff since 2010, but they were sitting on it and when the election is nearing they are protecting against the hike. They had not raised the issue in the Delhi Assembly.... Now Dikshit government wants to give a bailout package of Rs 20,000 crore to the discoms," he added.

He claimed that poor people had to take loan to pay their electricity and water bills. Elaborating about the course of action, Kejriwal said apart from him, party volunteers would be observing fast in 264 Wards of the city. Apart from it, the volunteers would collect signed letter in favour of Arvind Kejriwal.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)

First Published: March 23, 2013, 7:45 AM IST
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