Sterlite protests: Congress hits out at PM Modi’s ‘silence’
Eleven people were killed on Tuesday and two others injured have succumbed since the police firing during protests demanding the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concernsindia Updated: May 24, 2018 22:55 IST
Even as the Congress on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “silence” on the Tuticorin incident, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said his ministry has sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the police firing and the prevailing situation in the area.
In a statement issued by the home ministry, Singh appealed to the residents of Tuticorin to maintain peace.
Eleven people were killed on Tuesday and two others injured have succumbed since the police firing during protests demanding the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns.
“My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I appeal to the people in Tuticorin to remain calm and maintain peace and tranquility in the region,” he said.
Singh said his ministry was in touch with the state government and that a detailed report has been sought on the sequence of events on Tuesday.
“The Tamil Nadu government has been asked to provide details of the action taken to restore peace and normalcy. The state government has also been requested to give a detailed report on the Sterlite plant,” a home ministry official said.
But Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue. “Why is our eloquent, tweet-a-minute Prime Minister silent on the terrible disaster of Tuticorin? It is strange that the Prime Minister maintains silence on challenges of Tuticorin and women security, but has time to throw a counter-challenge on fitness. This is deplorable and reflects the mindset of this government,” he said.
He also attacked Tamil nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for not visiting the site. “The Tamil Nadu government has forfeited the moral right to rule. Who ordered the firing? There is a protocol. Under whose authority or supervision did it happen?” Singhvi asked.
The Congress leader also accused the Modi government of “abolishing” the rules made by the UPA government in 2013.
“We made a rule in 2013 that for a project like this, either the project or the industrial zone in which it is located must have an environmental clearance. The environmental clearance must be preceded by public consultation. In case the public raises objections, the issues need to be addressed.” Singhvi said all these rules were overlooked because of the Prime Minister’s “ease of doing business jumla”.
He also posed “Tuticorn challenge” to Modi, saying he gives fitness challenges enough priority, “but unfortunately the Prime Minister, Government of India, ruling party president you are all running on a treadmill but not getting anywhere.”
“You may be all fit for cameras or fit for ‘jumlas’ but are you fit for governance, the answer is clearly ‘No’ ...” Singhvi said.