TDP, Cong lock horns over power tariff hike

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Hyderabad, Oct 20 (UNI) Refuting opposition Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrbabu Naidu's promises that the party would slash electricity tariff if it returned to power in Andhra Pradesh, ruling Congress today said three persons, agitating against power tariff hike during TDP's rule, were killed in police firing in 2000.

Addressing a press conference at Congress Legislature Party office here, Finance Minister K Rosaiah alleged that Mr Naidu had increased the tariff manyfold during his nine-year rule. ''He is responsible for the death of three people in police firing during an agitation called by the opposition parties against the tariff hikes in 2000.'' Mr Rosaiah said Naidu had justified the hike by stating that it was to save the electricity board from financial crisis.

The Congress Government had not increased the electricity charges of domestic consumers in the state, he claimed.

Refuting TDP leader's charges that the government was able to provide free power to farmers due to the reforms he (Mr Naidu) had introduced, the minister said the economic reforms introduced by late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao in 1991 had facilitated the venture.

About demands for declaring Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy similar to wheat, he said Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had already written two letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

UNI

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