DMK, PMK to hold statewide protest

Opposition parties in the state led by the DMK on Saturday flayed the state government and announced demonstrations against the proposed hike in power tariff.

The DMK has announced a statewide agitation on April 9 condemning the state for the hike and demanding an immediate rollback. The PMK has announced a similar protest on April 4.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi described the hike as “unbearable” and sarcastically called it a “reward” for the voters of Sankarankoil (SC) segment who returned the AIADMK candidate in the March 18 bypoll with an overwhelming margin.

“This seems to be the first reward the government has given to the people of Sankarankoil who are said to have ensured that the Opposition lost its deposit,” he said, recalling a similar power tariff revision effected in 2003 by the AIADMK, withdrawing free power to farmers and huts.

Karunanidhi said the power tariff was also hiked during the previous DMK regime, but only to the tune of garnering Rs 1,651 crore as against the Tamil Nadu Energy Regulatory Authority Commission proposal on Friday to mop up `7,874 crore.

Of the 150 lakh domestic consumers, power tariff revision during his government’s tenure was confined to around 16 lakh, he said. Jayalalithaa as Opposition Leader had even then demanded a rollback of the hike, saying that it would have a cascading effect on many sections, he said.

DMDK leader Vijayakanth also demanded an immediate rollback of the power tariff hike proposed on Firday and said this would further burden the people who are already suffering fuel, bus fare and milk price hike.

MDMK, MMK and PMK were among the other parties that took a dig at the ruling party for power tariff revision.

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