According to UPPCL officials, the two districts faced load shedding on Thursday as there is an acute shortage of power in the state. However, Congress leaders pointed out the uninterrupted power supply to some other districts which are seen as bastions of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
Etawah (the native place of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav), Kannauj (the Lok Sabha constituency represented by Dimple Yadav, wife of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav), Mainpuri (Mulayam's LS constituency), Sambhal (the parliamentary constituency of Mulayam's nephew Dharmendra Singh Yadav) and Rampur (home district of SP leader Mohd Azam Khan) are all still getting 24x7 power supply.
Residents of Raebareli and Amethi had similarly benefited for the past nine months because the two Lok Sabha constituences are represented by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the party's vice president Rahul. Thanks to their VIP status, Amethi and Raebareli enjoyed unbridled power supply but the recent discord between SP and Congress apparently resulted in both the districts suddenly losing out on Thursday.
Political considerations seem to have guided the UPPCL's decision but officials are not willing to admit this. They averred that the demand for power has gone up sharply in the past few weeks with the mercury heading north.
The onset of summer is certainly one reason why people living in the two districts will now have to endure prolonged power cuts. Another factor is the obvious rift between the ruling parties at the Centre and the state.
The SP has been unhappy ever since Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma accused Mulayam of having links with terrorists. Before the Congress high command could undo the damage caused by his remarks, Verma went a step futher and alleged that the SP chief had accepted a commission for supporting the UPA government from outside.
Mulayam's supporters responded by saying that the steel minister had lost his "mental balance". Though Verma expressed reget later, the SP supremo was not mollified and demanded an open apology from him in Parliament.