Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who on Friday was seen criticising his own party’s government over the electricity situation in Punjab, owes over Rs 8 lakh as pending bills to the state power utility, according to official records.
According to the website of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), electricity charges worth Rs 8,67,540 of his Amritsar home are yet to be paid, with Friday as the last date for making the payment.
According to sources, the cricketer-turned-politician owed more than Rs 17 lakh since last year. He paid Rs 10 lakh in March and now his dues have soared to nearly 9 lakh, they said.
Mr Sidhu was not available for comments despite repeated attempts, news agency PTI reported.
As Punjab reels under unscheduled power cuts, Mr Sidhu put out nine tweets attacking Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the state’s power crisis, proving that it would take more than meetings with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to silence him as the Congress battles an unrelenting feud ahead of polls in the state.
“There is no need for power cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings or AC use of the common people … if we act in the right direction,” the cricketer-turned-politician wrote in a Twitter thread.
Amarinder Singh is in charge of the power ministry; Mr Sidhu had been offered the ministry when he resigned in 2019 over what he saw as a downgrade in his role in the state government.
The Punjab government on Thursday had reduced timings of government offices and ordered cut down on power supply to high energy-consuming industries as the electricity demand in the state soared to over 14,000 MW a day.
The electricity shortage has become a major election issue with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party even promising 300 units of free power to every household if the party wins the polls due early next year.