Dehradun: Taking a cue from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept the recent Assembly polls in the national capital on the promise of freebies and good governance, senior Congress leader Harish Rawat has assured of providing free water and electricity to the people of Uttarakhand if voted to power in 2022.
Given that electricity and water are the two key issues in the hill state, Rawat’s promise may turn into a game-changer for the grand old party, desperate to make its presence felt in the region. The elections are still 23 months away in Uttarakhand.
“I assure each resident of the state 250 monthly units of free electricity and 25 litres of water daily if the Congress comes to power in 2022,” the former chief minister, who is also the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary, said in a video message.
Water crisis is a reality in many parts of Uttarakhand and providing 25 liters of free water seems to be a ‘big promise’. On electricity front too, there is a huge gap between demand and supply as government agency Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd has to spend crores every year to purchase electricity from other sources.
Rawat further claimed in the video message that the “work” he has done for strengthening electricity supply chain would fetch results in two years and free electricity would not be an issue.
However, some of the Congress leaders feel otherwise. When asked about the poll promise, the party’s state unit president, Pritam Singh, said for the time being, the party is focused on achieving result-orientated targets.
“It will be a collective decision of the party (to provide free electricity and water) which we will see later,” Singh told News18.
When asked about the senior Congress leader’s promise, Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat said the former is a retired person and has no work to do.
The Congress is yet to decide whether to project anyone as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 polls and by suddenly making a poll promise, the former CM might be trying to pitch himself for the coveted post.