Power shortage returns to haunt AIADMK in TN

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Jayalalitha
Chennai, Apr 18: What propelled AIADMK to a remarkable victory against DMK in the 2011 Assembly elections, power shortage, seems to have now become its Achilles Heel with the Opposition going hammer and tongs against Chief Minister Jayalalitha, who sees a 'conspiracy' behind power cuts to bring disrepute to her government.

The load-shedding situation, reportedly running into several hours in some parts of the state, has come to haunt the ruling dispensation, which Jayalalithaa had made a key plank in the last April 2011 Assembly polls.

She had severely criticised the then ruling DMK for the prevailing load-shedding situation, alleging that industry and agriculture had been hit in the wake of the unannounced power cuts. But the opposition is now turning the tables on her, prompting her to give detailed explanation to the electorate even as she is accusing her party's arch rival DMK, besides Congress, for the power woes.

While DMK and Congress are in the direct line of Jayalalithaa's fire, parties besides others like Vijayakant's DMDK, are questioning if she had implemented her promise of turning the state power-surplus within months of assuming power.

DMK leaders M Karunanidhi and his son M K Stalin, Congress' P Chidambaram and Vijayakant have launched sharp attacks against the Jayalalithaa government on the power cut issue. Putting up a brave face, Jayalalithaa insists that there could be a conspiracy behind the power cuts, ordering a probe.

Countering opposition criticism that her government had failed to address the power shortage, Jayalalithaa says her government has added over 4000 MW in 34 months, bringing much relief to the people who had suffered from a 2000-3000 MW peaktime shortfall when DMK government was in power.

She doesn't spare Congress either, saying her demand for allocation of 1,700 MW surrendered by Delhi to her state, made to the UPA, went unheeded. Further, the Chief Minister suspects how the power generation from Central units had dipped suddenly together, thus claiming foul-play.

As the parties trade and counter trade charges in their battle for the ballot, it is an indisputable fact that power shortage is back in contention, with Opposition hoping to give a 'shock' to AIADMK.

PTI

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