Kejriwal to go on indefinite fast from March 23

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Aam Admi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal Monday announced he would sit on an indefinite fast later this month as part of his ongoing "civil disobedience movement" over rising water and electricity charges in the national capital.

"I will sit on an indefinite hunger strike from March 23. I appeal to the people not to pay their electricity bills from March 23 onwards. I will not pay my electricity bill either," Kejriwal said at a press conference here.

Terming electricity bills sent to consumers as unjustified, he said: "Electricity meters are running 25-40 percent faster. The DERC (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission) has also acknowledged this. But there has been no action in this regard. People in Delhi are made to pay 40 percent extra for electricity."

He also accused DERC chairman P.D. Sudhakar of acting as an "agent" of power distribution companies (discoms).

"The July 13, 2012 order by Sudhakar to raise electricity tariff was not issued by him but by the auditors of Ambanis. So, in a way Reliance and Tata are drafting such orders to increase the prices. We can clearly say that the reason behind such price increase is corruption," he said.

He also accused the Delhi government, private discoms and DERC of "match fixing".

Responding to whether his fast is a political gimmick, Kejriwal said: "Yes, we are saying we are doing politics. We want to change the polity of our nation. Sheila Dikshit is doing politics for Anil Ambani, we are doing politics for the people.

"BJP and Congress are doing politics for corruption. But we are doing politics against corruption."

The activist-turned-politician appealed to the people to unite against price rise without fear.

"People from entire Delhi should cooperate in the movement. Only then can we fight against this injustice. This electricity is ours and not of Ambanis or Tatas. If you won't protest due to the fear of going to jail, then our activists will do that. But we have to unite against them.

"We are not making any demands from the government. We are not expecting anything from them. We are trying to assert that if we don't unite we will continue to suffer," he added.

The AAP national convenor was flanked by his party spokesperson Manish Sisodia and poet-activist Kumar Vishwas.