N-plant protest resumes, Jaya calls for halt to work
After a day’s break for local body polls, protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu resumed on Tuesday against the backdrop of a slanging match with the makings of a Centre-state tussle.india Updated: Oct 18, 2011 23:12 IST
After a day’s break for local body polls, protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu resumed on Tuesday against the backdrop of a slanging match with the makings of a Centre-state tussle.
Chief minister J Jayalalithaa blamed the Centre for the agitation, the Centre claimed it was on the job, and DMK chief M Karunanidhi accused the state government of adopting an “ostrich-like attitude”.
With the protesters restarting their hunger strike, but not resuming the blockade of roads leading to the plant, Jayalalithaa called for halting work on the R13,000-crore Indo-Russian project in Tirunelveli district, 650 km south of Chennai.
She said the protests were a result of the Centre’s inability to allay people’s fears about the safety of the project. “Work at Kudankulam should not continue, till fears of people are addressed,” she said. The protesters welcomed the CM’s statement.
Jayalalithaa said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised an expert committee to address the safety concerns, but there had been no forward movement.
She took exception to remarks of the minister of state in the prime minister’s office, V Narayanasamy, that the Centre was waiting for the state government’s response on the composition of the expert committee. The CM described the remarks as “a deliberate attempt to put the blame on the state government”.
Later, Narayanasamy, denied any differences between the Centre and the state government. He said from New Delhi the expert group was likely to be formed this week. The protesters, scared by the earthquake-tsunami triggered Fukushima nuclear disaster, want work on the plant halted.
(With input from agencies)