Water cannons used at AAP rally

The protesters were planning to gherao Punjab CM’s residence over power crisis

The Punjab Police on Saturday resorted to use of water cannons to disperse the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers as they marched to ‘gherao’ the residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at Siswan in Mohali over the ongoing power crisis in the State.

‘Resolve crisis’

The protesters, led by State AAP chief Bhagwant Mann, were staging the protest against the long and unscheduled power cuts and wanted to meet the Chief Minister and submit a memorandum, demanding resolution of the crisis.

As they marched towards the CM’s residence, they were stopped at the barricades by the police using water cannons. The police said the protesters attempted to jump over the barricades.

Mr. Mann, addressing a gathering, said AAP volunteers have come to wake up the Congress government from its slumber. “The people of Punjab are buying the most expensive electricity in the country at ₹10 per unit, but yet they are not getting it. Instead, they have to leave their homes in the heat and paddy sowing in the fields and hold sit-ins,” he said.

Mr. Mann said the power purchase agreements signed by the previous SAD-BJP government with private thermal plants and their non-cancellationby the Congress government is the key reason behind the power crisis.

Cong., SAD blamed

AAP senior leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said due to the faulty PPAs, the State exchequer was being looted by the private power companies and the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal are both to be blamed for this. Mr. Cheema said the Congress has failed to keep its election promises of 2017. “Even today, the people of Punjab are suffering due to expensive sand, gravel, electricity, petrol and diesel,” he said.

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