Take legal recourse, CM tells Electricity Department staff

‘Make sure power services are not disrupted during protest against privatisation’

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Saturday said the government would stand with the Electricity Department employees in opposing the Union Government’s decision to privatise the department and was even willing to join them in taking legal recourse.

He urged the employees’ union to attend to complaints and make sure power services were not disrupted during their protest against the Centre’s move to privatise the Electricity Department.

Addressing a press conference here, the Chief Minister said the government had passed an unanimous resolution in the House opposing the move. The resolution was forwarded to the Centre by Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, he said.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs, four days ago, had informed the government its intent to go ahead with the privatisation move, the Chief Minister said.

“After we received the MHA communication, the government informed the employees’ association of the Centre’s decision. Since then, the employees are not attending to complaints of power disruption causing hardship to public. The employees have every right to protest but it should not cause inconvenience to public. We asked the employees to approach the Court and the government will also join them in the legal process,” he said. The government will not allow the Centre to privatise the power utility service in the Union Territory, he added.

Free rice

On free rice issue, the Chief Minister said the government had sought financial sanction for ₹79 crore to disburse ₹2000 each to 1.75 lakh BPL families and ₹1000 each to 1.50 lakh APL families, in lieu of free rice, for five months. However, the Lt. Governor gave sanction for distributing money only for the last three months, he said.

“The government took the decision to provide support to the families in the prevailing difficult times. The money for free rice has been earmarked in the current budget. Even then Ms Bedi has refused to give sanction,” he said.

The Chief Minister also flayed the Centre for bringing the farm legislations without any proper consultation. The three farm legislations were enacted with aim to bring corporates into the agriculture section.

The entry of corporates would create monopoly and destroy farmers livelihood means, he said urging the Centre to withdraw the legislations.

Social Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy and Minister for Revenue M.O.H.F Shahjahan were at the press conference

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