Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Rejects Free Electricity Promise, Calls Out Other States for "False Claims"

Patna: In a firm rebuttal to free electricity promises made by some state governments, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday declared in the state Assembly that electricity would not be provided "for free" in his state. He said, that Bihar already offers electricity at "a very low price."

CM Nitesh Kumar statement comes amidst heated political debates on populist measures and their financial viability. While acknowledging the importance of affordable power, he cautioned against unrealistic promises. "I have been saying since the beginning that it will not be given for free," he said. "We provide it at a very low price. In some states, they announce free electricity, but we never said that."

This is a direct response to recent announcements by some state governments offering free or heavily subsidized electricity to specific consumer groups. Notably, Nitish Kumar refrained from naming specific states, instead focusing on the principle of responsible governance.

"He is an honest person, doing good work"

CM Nitish Kumar said, that even during elections, he maintained that electricity wouldn't be free. "This amount is for everyone's safety. It seems like a small amount, but you all destroy everything," he said, addressing the opposition. Pointing towards Energy Minister Vijendra Prasad Yadav, CM Nitish Kumar said, "He is an honest person, doing good work. Listen to what he says. Everyone, please sit down. Why talk nonsense?"

Power Companies Owe Rs 3 Lakh Crore - Energy Minister

Opposition members in the House demanded free electricity. In response, Energy Minister Vijendra Prasad Yadav said, "We should also see the bills of neighboring states. If their bills are lower than Bihar's, we will definitely make it cheaper. Otherwise, don't make baseless demands. Power companies have an outstanding debt of Rs 3 lakh crore. The state government is already providing a subsidy of more than Rs 14,000 crore. Rural consumers are getting cheaper electricity from the cities.

Key Points:

  • Nitish Kumar rejects free electricity promise, emphasizes affordability.
  • Statement seen as a response to recent populist measures by other states.
  • Tejashwi Yadav raises questions about Kumar's political shift.
  • Comments highlight ongoing political tensions in Bihar.

Implications and Future Developments

CM Nitish Kumar stance on electricity tariffs has sparked debate on the feasibility and sustainability of free or heavily subsidized electricity schemes. While the promise of free electricity holds popular appeal, it raises concerns about the financial burden on state governments and the potential impact on the power sector's long-term health.

It remains to be seen how Kumar's statement will impact future policy decisions and public opinion in Bihar. His position on electricity tariffs adds another layer to the complex political landscape of the state, likely shaping the ongoing discourse and influencing future electoral outcomes.

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