Power Shortage in Tamil Nadu Returns to Haunt AIADMK

Power Shortage in Tamil Nadu Returns to Haunt AIADMK

While the AIADMK was propelled to a remarkable victory against the DMK in the 2011 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, power shortage in the state seems to have now become its Achilles' heel with the opposition going hammer and tongs against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, 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, the DMK, besides the Congress, for the power woes.

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

DMK leaders M Karunanidhi and son M K Stalin, Congress' P Chidambaram and DMDK's 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 the opposition's criticism that her government had failed to address the power shortage, Jayalalithaa said her government had added over 4000 MW of power in 34 months, bringing much relief to people who had suffered from a 2000-3000 MW peak-time shortfall when the DMK was in power.

She didn't spare the Congress either, saying that her demand for the allocation of 1,700 MW of power surrendered by Delhi to her state, made to the UPA, went unheeded.

Further, the chief minister suspected 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 the opposition hoping to give it back to the AIADMK.

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