Nitish to seek votes citing improved power scenario

Patna, June 8 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said he would seek votes in the upcoming assembly polls citing the improved scenario in the state’s power sector.

He comment came hours after the “Janata Parivar” – a combine of six political parties including Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party – named him as its chief ministerial candidate for the polls.

The chief minister said he was happy that the power scenario has improved in Bihar and his government has been purchasing power from the private sector to ensure electricity for all.

He recalled that in 2012 he announced that he would not ask for votes in the 2015 assembly election if his government fails to improve the power situation.

“Power scenario has improved in the state in last nearly 10 years. It is for any one to experience it by travelling on the national highway to state highway and remote rural pockets, electricity is visible in villages on both sides of the roads.

“Earlier, it was dark but now no more,” Nitish Kumar told the media here while reacting to the BJP’s leaders accusation that nothing has happened in the state’s power sector in the past few years.

“BJP leaders have been lying and wrongly giving credit to merely a one-year-old central government led by Narendra Modi for power scenario improvement in Bihar,” the Janata Dal (United) leader said.

Nitish Kumar said Bihar was heavily dependent on supply of electricity from the central pool and blamed the central government for not providing Bihar’s quota of 2,700 MW from the central pool.

“The central government was supplying only 2,000 MW in place of 2,700 MW to Bihar,” he said.

The state government is paying money for electricity from the central pool. “It is not free, we have been paying for it. Some time more than electricity from private sector,” he said.

The chief minister said the state government was purchasing electricity from the private sector at a cheaper price to provide electricity to as many people as possible.

An official with the state energy department said thanks to the focus on the power sector, the state government was providing 20-22 hours of electricity on an average in all district headquarters and 16-18 hours to rural areas.

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