Siddaramaiah suspects electricity shortage is a ruse to privatise power plants

He opposes privatisation fearing cut in free power supply to irrigation pump (IP) sets of farmers

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah alleged that the scarcity of electricity might be a creation of the government in an attempt to privatise thermal power plants in Karnataka.

“We have to first understand if the scarcity of coal is artificially created. Karnataka had never faced a power crisis till now; we had excess production compared to demand. As our thermal plants are closed, the requirement of coal is not very high. I see this as an attempt to weaken government-owned power plants and privatise them,” the former chief minister said.

He opposed privatisation of power plants fearing a cut in free power supply to irrigation pump (IP) sets of farmers. “Once privatised, free power given to farmers will be stopped,” Mr. Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, during his visit to Delhi last week, had urged the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal to thermal power plants in Karnataka.

On infighting among Ministers in the ruling BJP with regard to control of Bengaluru city, he said, “The main reason for the infighting is their urge to make money through corruption. What else can we expect from BJP?”

He wants the government to demand its rightful share in GST compensation and tax devolution. “We should not be begging for our share in GST,” he said.

On rise in prices of fuel and LPG, he said an additional ₹3,000 crore was collected in the form of tax between April and September by the Karnataka government compared to the same period last year. The Tamil Nadu government has reduced the tax by ₹3 per litre. “Karnataka government should reduce taxes by at least ₹10. Only then will the prices of essential commodities come down,” he said.

The former chief minister is not interested in national politics and wants MP and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to lead the party.

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