Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday attacked the Shiv Sena-led state government for not waiving 'inflated' power bills of consumers incurred during the coronavirus- induced lockdown. "It seems the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, as it forgot its promise to provide free electricity to poor people in the state. On the contrary, the government has hiked the power tariff and supplying electricity at the highest rate in the country," he told reporters on a day the BJP launched a statewide protest and burnt power bills.
"We are not asking the government to waive the electricity bills of the rich, traders and others, but we want the government to grant a relief to the poor," he said. Mungantiwar alleged that while the government claims to have no money to grant a power bill waiver, it has funds "to renovate bungalows of its ministers; to buy new vehicles, and to pay to contractors".
"During the lockdown, the state government decided to give a relief on stamp duty payment to builders in Mumbai," the BJP MLA said. Responding to state power minister Nitin Raut's statement that arrears of electricity department grew when the BJP was in power, Mungantiwar said the dues piled up due to the then government's move to help the poor and farmers during drought.
"However, there are also arrears pending with sugar mills owned by leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party, the water supply department and the urban development department, but the energy minister has not spoken a single word about it," said Mungantiwar.