Punjab power crisis: Sukhbir Badal says CM Amarinder pushed state into darkness

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Chandigarh, Jul 4 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday said the erstwhile SAD-BJP government had made Punjab a power surplus state but Chief Minister Amarinder Singh pushed it back into darkness.

His remarks came a day after Singh said his government would soon announce a legal strategy to counter the 'ill-conceived' power purchase agreements signed during the SAD-BJP rule which had put an 'atrociously unnecessary' financial burden on the state.

He said of the 139 power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed during the SAD-BJP rule, 17 were enough to cater to the state's full electricity demand. The remaining 122 PPAs for 1,314 MWs of expensive power were inexplicably signed.

Attacking Singh, Badal tweeted, '@capt_amarinder Re your new rant on SAD govt's power agreements, 4.5 yrs is a long time to scrap any agreement. Who stopped/stops you? Do anything but save Punjabis from long unbearable power cuts & bills. But it seems U want to be remembered for 'BIJLEE MEHANGI, BIJLEE GULL.' 'Those who plunged Punjab into darkness are blaming power cuts on those who made the state power surplus. As PS (Parkash Singh) Badal took over in 2007, Punjab was used to 16 hrs daily cuts. He took 3 yrs to make it power surplus-exactly the time u have taken to push it back into darkness,' the SAD chief said in another tweet.

Punjab has been reeling under an unprecedented power shortage with urban and rural areas facing long hours of load shedding amid scorching heat.

The Congress-led government has been under fire from the opposition for not being able to provide sufficient electricity to consumers, especially to paddy growers for sowing their crop.

The state-owned power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited had blamed the failure of one unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant and a prolonged dry spell for the power crisis in the state. PTI CHS VSD DIV DIV

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