Lucknow: After coming under scathing attack over its directive of early closure of shops and eateries in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday swung into fire-fighting mode, saying no such order was issued and "it was only said the power would not be supplied after 7 pm".
"First of all there is no order for closure of shops. There is problem of power in the state, but it is due to the previous government," PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav said.
He said that it was only that the government would not supply power after 7 pm.
"It's up to them. If they want to close, then they can close," Yadav said.
On Sunday, an official spokesman had said: "For the next 15 days all shops and malls in the state, excluding medical stores, will open at 11 am and would close at 7 pm."
Business establishments and Opposition parties launched a vitriolic attack on the state government over the issue. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed the order as "illogical".
The senior SP leader alleged that the previous government did neither set up a single unit nor generated a single mega watt power.
"Whatever power the state is getting is due to units set up by the SP government in previous regime," he said.
Yadav said if the previous government would have worked on units sanctioned by SP government then the power generation would have been around 13,000 MW.
"Our demand is 11,000 MW in that case. The state would have had a power surplus of 2,000 MW. The problem is due to the previous government," he alleged.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that by blaming the previous regime SP government was trying to conceal its failure.
"It's a well planned conspiracy. The decision to close markets at 7 PM will not only affect the traders, but will also create problems for the people. It has exposed the failure of the government," he alleged.