AAP workers protest outside Punjab CM's house, Bhagwant Mann detained
Hundreds of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers, who were staging a protest, faced water cannons just outside the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in Mohali today. Members of several Opposition parties have been protesting the acute power shortage in the state even as a severe heatwave sizzles north India. Here are more details on this.
Protest led by AAP Punjab chief Bhagwant Mann
AAP's Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann and fellow party members gathered outside Singh's house earlier in the day and shouted slogans against the Congress government. As they began marching toward the CM's residence, security arrangements were beefed up in the area. Police then used water cannons to disperse the protesters while a few AAP leaders, including Mann and MLA Harpal Singh Cheema, were detained.
Here are some visuals from the scene
Punjab government facing criticism over power crisis
CM Singh-led Punjab government has been facing the heat over the issue of acute power shortage there in recent weeks. Some parts of the state are seeing up to 14-hour-long power outages in a day, reports say. The state government has already shortened working hours in government offices and urged them to reduce usage of high power-consuming appliances such as air conditioners.
Huge gap between power demand and supply reported
Just last week, power demand in Punjab had soared to 14,142 megawatt (MW). However, the supply was 12,842 MW, leaving a massive gap of 1,300 MW, an official of the state-owned Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said, according to India Today.
Power shortage a major issue for 2022 Punjab elections
Electricity shortage has become a major issue in Punjab for the Assembly elections, due early next year. AAP co-founder and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has promised 300 units of free power to every household if the party wins the polls. The party had earlier implemented a free electricity scheme for a few hundred units after coming to power in the capital city.