Taking on the Delhi government on the issue of hike in power and water tariff ahead of Assembly polls, Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced an indefinite fast from March 23 and urged residents to launch a civil disobedience movement by not paying electricity bills.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal, AAP’s national convenor, said that people are troubled by steep hike in their water and power bills but even the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party was not taking up the issue. He also alleged that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her government were in collusion with the private discoms.
"I will go on an indefinite fast from March 23. I will have just water. This is not a hunger strike to demand some thing. This is a fast meant to awaken people, to help them remove their fears. I urge them not to pay bills,” he said.
"They may be afraid they will be sent to jail, their power connection snapped. If you are afraid, AAP volunteers will help you restore your connection. If you are afraid, do not pay the bills at least for one month. No one can snap your connections for not paying the bill for one month," he added.
Kejriwal, who resides in Uttar Pradesh's Kaushambi near Delhi border, also said that his family will not pay electricity bills in solidarity with Delhiites. He also said he will try to stay in Delhi.
He also claimed that half of the electricity bill in Delhi is inflated and people should only pay half of what is mentioned in the bill. "If the discoms are not willing to take half the bill, then do not pay the bill," he said.
Asked where he will start his agitation, Kejriwal said he will sit on fast at the houses of those who were badly affected by the power bills.
On how long the protest will continue, he said once the government approaches him he would demand CAG audit of power discoms, staying of illegal bills and changing faulty meters.