Anti-corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday called on citizens of Delhi to burn their electricity bills, as he believed that this would prompt the Delhi government to take corrective action to end inflated power bills in the national capital.
Addressing a huge crowd in New Delhi on Saturday morning, Kejriwal said, "We will hold a dharna on October 7, people will burn electricity bills at 3 pm in 114 municipal wards."
"They (Delhi government) must roll back the hike before November 3, or we will protest again on November 4 and gherao (surround) (Chief Minister) Sheila Dikshit's house. We challenge them to try to cut the electricity of anyone in Delhi. I will come and restore your electricity. We are ready to go to jail for this," Kejriwal added.
It maybe recalled that on October 2, Kejriwal had said he will disconnect the electricity supply of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as part of a protest against the recent hike in power tariff.
To kickstart his campaign against inflated power bills, Kejriwal said he would restore the power connection of a daily wage earner, who had approached him for help after being unable to pay his bills.
Kejriwal had promised to restore his electricity connection. Kejriwal had then slammed the Sheila Dikshit government over the ballooning bills in the capital.
Kejriwal said: "Sheila Dikshit has to reduce the electricity and water costs in Delhi. This is wrong. They should not have increased costs." He alleged the private power distribution companies were making huge profits.
Team Kejriwal launched their campaign for the Delhi assembly elections with a protest against inflated power bills in the capital.
Shouting slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", Team Kejriwal and their supporters began their protest in Delhi's Jantar Mantar area. Kejriwal had earlier asked India Against Corruption volunteers to contest the Delhi elections in 2013, but he reportedly had a tough time convincing some of the volunteers, who were upset with his decision to join politics.
Many of them voiced fears that the IAC's entry into politics will cut opposition votes and directly benefit the Congress.
On September 23, Kejriwal had led a protest against the Delhi government on power tariff hike and asked people not to pay electricity bills. The protest was the first after his split with Anna Hazare.
Around 300-400 people gathered at Jantar Mantar where Kejriwal announced a new 'Civil Disobedience Movement,' asking people not to pay the bills if the Sheila Dikshit government did not order an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of private discoms (power distribution companies).
At the protest, people set fire to electricity bills, alleging there was collusion between the city government and the discoms to increase power tariff and help private companies earn more. The assembly polls in Delhi are slated for November next year.