Ignoring the CPIM’s official line,party veteran VS Achuthanandan today set out to Kundankulam to pledge solidarity with anti-nuclear protesters but was stopped by Tamil Nadu Police at the border town of Kaliyikkavila near here.
As Achuthanandan’s car entered the border town,an officer of Tamil Nadu police stopped the vehicle and requested the 88-year-old leader not to proceed further in view of the security concerns.
Complying with the request,Achuthandan said he was disappointed that he could not visit the coastal village in Tamil Nadu to pledge solidarity with the protesters but did not want to create any law and order problem in the neighbouring state.
“I don’t wish to worsen the law and order situation in your state. I only wish peace prevails in Tamil Nadu. So I am returning by complying with your request”,the former Kerala Chief Minister told the police official.
Achuthanandan,however,said he was firm in his opinion that nuclear plants were dangerous and recalled that his party had withdrawn support to the UPA government in protest against Indo-US civil nuclear pact.
In an apparent dig at the party leadership,Achuthanandan said,”I have not changed my position on the nuclear issue since then. My intention was to express solidarity with the agitation led by Udhayakumar against the nuclear plant.I am disappointed that I could not reach the spot of the agitation and convey my message to them”,he said.
A big crowd gathered on both sides of the border and raised slogans hailing Achuthanandan.
The central and state leadership of CPI(M) had distanced themselves from Achuthanandan’s decision by making it clear that the party is not opposed to nuclear energy as such. In a recent article in the party organ ‘Deshabhimani’,CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat had said “the demand for closure of the plant after all the works are completed by spending Rs 15,000 crore is neither practical nor would serve the country’s interests”.
He,however,wanted the state and central authorities to make a serious note of the safety concerns expressed by the local people and said the party was opposed to unleashing repressive measures against the protesters and slapping sedition charges against them.