TDP protests with lanterns

Legislators from opposition parties came to the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Tuesday with lanterns to protest against a severe electricity shortage in the state.

Led by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, legislators of the Telugu Desam party (TD), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) staged the protest with lanterns and dummy transformers at Gun Park opposite the assembly building.

They later marched to the assembly and raised the issue in the house. The Praja Rajyam party (PR) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged similar protests.

Speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy, however, rejected their adjournment motions on the issue, triggering an uproar. The speaker had to adjourn the house and call a meeting of all floor leaders to find a way out.

Earlier, Naidu termed the electricity situation as serious. He alleged that farmers, the domestic sector and students were badly affected by the scheduled and unscheduled electricity cuts.

PRP led by its president K. Chiranjeevi staged a demonstration at Vidyut Soudha, the headquarters of AP Transco (Andhra Pradesh transmission corporation) in Somajiguda.

The state is in the grip of a severe electricity crisis due to the increased demand in summer and the ongoing rabi crop season. AP Transco has imposed two-to-six hour scheduled cuts across the state.

Authorities have imposed two-hour cuts every day in the state capital and major cities, five hours in towns and six hours in villages. However, people are complaining of unscheduled cuts for longer durations.

The state has declared a one day weekly power holiday for industries and is planning to increase it to two days.

Experts say the situation could turn worse as it was only the beginning of summer. The peak demand is 250 million units (MU) every day while there is a shortage of 25 MU.(IANS)

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