Jaipur, Apr 29: Politics over alleged power outage due to shortage of coal supply intensified in Rajasthan on Friday as the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP leaders exchanged barbs over the issue.
Terming power outage a "national crisis", Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed concern over the alleged shortage of coal supply in the country amid the increase in electricity demand during summer.
He said the power demand has increased in 16 states due to the rising mercury levels while no adequate quantity of coal is being supplied and it is affecting the power generation.
"This is a national crisis. I appeal to everyone to unite in this crisis and support the government in improving the situation. Turn off non-essential electrical appliances at your home or workplace. Set your priorities and use electricity in accordance with your need," Gehlot said in a tweet in Hindi.
He also condemned the Rajasthan unit of the BharatiyaJanata Party for putting pressure on the employees of the power distribution companies by staging protests as the BJP on Friday held protests across the state outside electricity offices.
"In Rajasthan, the BJP is putting pressure on the electricity department employees who are doing their work in a challenging atmosphere amid the power crisis, by staging demonstrations," the veteran Congress leader said.
"It is the Centre's job to provide coal to states. Will the directionless state BJP leadership ask the Centre why is it not able to provide coal in accordance with the demand, due to which there has been a crisis in 16 states?" he asked.
Soon after his remarks, BJP state president SatishPoonia said Gehlot was trying to blame the Centre and the BJP for his failure to manage the power crisis.