‘How can Jaitapur villagers be outsiders? | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘How can Jaitapur villagers be outsiders?

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2011 01:21 IST
HT Correspondent

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray came down heavily on chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on his ‘outsiders’ comment he made at Jaitapur on Saturday.

“How could he say that the villagers genuinely fighting for their land and raising their voices are outsiders? Doesn’t he feel the same when he bows down to his party head Sonia Gandhi, an ‘Italian’ who is an outsider?” said Thackeray while addressing Shiv Sainiks at a function organised on Marathi Bhasha diwas at Prabhadevi, in central Mumbai.

Chavan visited Jaitapur on Saturday and sought a dialogue with the locals who were against the Jaitapur nuclear power project. He had said that there is an ‘outside power’ who is behind the protests. He also urged the locals not to be swayed by ‘misconceptions’ that have been planted by other political parties.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has signed an MoU with France’s Areva for building two 1,650 MW nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, located on a coastal site in Ratnagiri district, but the protests have cause the project to hit a roadblock. The villagers are opposing the project because of environmental damage and destruction of livelihood. Although the government has issued notices to acquire the 968 hectares of land needed for the project in five villages, most villagers have refused to accept the compensation.

“When we went to Jaitapur and offered help to the villagers, they said that their land is their mother and they are not ready to part with it,” he said.