Koodankulam: VS flouts party line,to back protests

Defying the CPI(M)’s stand,Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan is set to visit Koodankulam

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: September 18, 2012 12:56 am

Defying the CPI(M)’s stand,Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan is set to visit Koodankulam on Tuesday. At a time when the CPI(M) central leadership and the party’s Tamil Nadu unit are favouring the commissioning of the nuclear plant there,Achuthanandan is expected to pledge his support to the local residents who have stepped up their protests.

Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Achuthanandan had not consulted the party on his Koodankulam visit.

In Delhi,when asked about Achuthanandan’s decision,CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat replied: “I don’t know anything about it. We have not discussed the matter.”

Recently,Achunthanandan had said during a TV channel interview that the CPI(M) would be isolated if it did not change its stand on Koodankulam. “Supporting the Koodankulam plant was a stupid approach by a party which withdrew support to the UPA government on the (India-US) nuclear deal,’’ he had said.

Referring to Karat’s write-up in party mouthpiece Deshabhimani last week,Achuthanandan said Karat’s argument was not convincing. “Karat should have deplored the police firing which killed one person,’’ he said.

In his write-up,Karat said the CPI(M) is against the use of imported reactors following the Indo-US nuclear deal. But,he added,the two reactors at Koodankulam were sourced from Russia much before the nuclear deal with US. Karat said it was neither practical nor in tune with the national interest to demand closure of the Koodankulam nuclear plant.

Speaking to The Indian Express today,Karat sought to defend his stand. “I have condemned the repression against the protesters and the filing of cases of sedition against many of them. We have been saying that adequate safety measures will have to be put in place and the concerns of the people will have to be addressed before commissioning of the plant,” he said.

While the party is opposed to nuclear parks being set up with multiple imported nuclear reactors in Jaitapur and other places,it has not demanded scrapping of the two reactors in Koodankulam.

With ENS,Delhi

VS asks Centre to stop US observatory

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Monday urged the Central government to drop its plan to set up a neutrino-based observatory lab in association with the US inside the forest in Kerala’s Idukki and Tamil Nadu’s Theni districts. He said that the move to establish the lab with the Department of Atomic Energy of the US was a matter of serious concern. He said an “environmental impact study should be done’’. ENS

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