As Delhi continued to face long power cuts, over 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs staged a protest outside Union Minister Harsh Vardhan's house in East Delhi on Tuesday, demanding urgent steps by the Centre to improve electricity supply in the city.
Senior leader Manish Sisodia said it was the responsibility of the Centre to ensure proper governance including facilitating basic amenities to the people in the city as Delhi is currently under Central rule. "The BJP is in power at the Centre and Vardhan is a Union Minister as well as Delhi BJP President. It is the responsibility of the ruling party at the Centre to address the problem of power supply in Delhi. That is why we have come here," Sisodia, who led the AAP MLAs to Vardhan's house, told reporters.
He said 22 AAP legislators came to Vardhna's residence and submitted a memorandum to his personal staff. Former AAP ministers Satyendra Jain, Somnath Bharti, Girish Soni and Saurav Bhardwaj were among the AAP MLAs who held a protest.
The AAP MLAs came at around 8.30 am, held a symbolic protest, submitted the memorandum and left after a while. Vardhan had left his residence around ten minutes before the AAP MLAs reached his place.
Delhi has been reeling under long power cuts ranging from one to six hours for over a week after a devastating storm severely damaged major power transmission lines across the city. The Congress as well as AAP have been targeting the BJP for the power cuts, saying the Central government cannot escape responsibility.
Vardhan later rejected the criticism, saying the Congress and the AAP should share the responsibility for the power situation in the city. "The Congress was in power for 15 years. The AAP was in power for 49 days. They are to be blamed for the situation, not the BJP as our party has not come to power in Delhi yet," Vardhan said.
The power situation had further deteriorated on Monday as a number of power transmission lines maintained by Delhi Transco Ltd (DTL), a Delhi government utility, had tripped. The DTL is yet to repair all the transmission lines damaged by the devastating storm on May 30.
Congress MLAs and ex-MLAs held a protest at Delhi Secretariat on Monday by locking the Chief Secretary in his room for over one-and-a-half hours demanding improvement in the power situation.