Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday began an indefinite hunger strike to demand reduction in power tariff in Mumbai.
Nirupam started his agitation outside the Reliance Energy divisional office at Kandivali in north Mumbai.
Mumbai was excluded from the 20 per cent cut in power tariff charged to domestic consumers, industries and power looms by the state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran), he lamented while addressing his supporters.
The Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai North said he would continue his agitation till the demand was met.
The Cabinet had last week decided that the concession of cut in power tariff by 20 per cent would be applicable to consumers with consumption of less than 300 units.
The cut in power tariff will not be applicable in Mumbai where there are players other than MahaVitaran supply power. Mumbai consumers get power supply from Tata Power, Reliance Infrastructure and BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking, the government had said.
Flaying the opposition BJP for alleging that the decision by the Maharashtra government to reduce 20 per cent power tariff charged to domestic consumers, industries and powerlooms was taken ahead of the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said the government has fulfilled its assurance given in November last year.
He said the state government had on November 19 last year assured to fulfil the promise to reduce power tariff by 20 per cent.
He had said the state government will have to bear an additional burden of Rs 7,200 crore on the state exchequer.
Nirupam, along with party's Lok Sabha member Priya Dutt, had been "protesting" and demanding reduction of electricity bills for power consumers especially in Mumbai.
Nirupam had also written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan demanding a power tariff cut, reasoning that if the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi could do so, why could it not be replicated in Mumbai and Maharashtra?
Their party, the Congress, leads the coalition government in Maharashtra.