Lucknow: Raebareli and Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituencies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the party’s vice-president, are facing power cuts for the first time since the Uttar Pradesh government ordered round-the-clock supply to the two districts, leading to speculation about a further strain in the Congress party’s ties with the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state.
Power corporation officials said that although no formal orders in this regard were issued, the two districts were put on the load-shedding roster on Thursday.
Authorities blamed the power cuts, which occurred for a couple of hours, on a decline in output. Officials, however, said that barring Raebareli and Amethi, the other VVIP constituencies of Mainpuri, Kannauj, Etawah and Rampur—all strongholds of Samajwadi Party leaders—continued to get 24-hour supply.
The development comes on the back of a recent public spat between leaders of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.
A move by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government around nine months ago ordering 24-hour power supply to these districts was seen at that time as an indication of warming ties between the two parties.
“It is unfortunate that in a few districts power is being supplied for 24 hours, while in the rest of UP there is no power. Entire state should get proper electricity. People had elected this government with great hope,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said in New Delhi.
A senior power corporation official blamed the load-shedding on “unavoidable conditions”.
“There are no orders of power cut in these two districts. During the past two days, there had been a two-hour load shedding due to unavoidable conditions,” power corporation managing director A.P. Misra said.