The Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday questioned a likely shift in Shiv Sena’s opposition to the nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, and compared it with a softening of its stand on the Enron project.
Commenting on a senior Shiv Sena leader’s remark, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said on Thursday that Sena minister Ramdas Kadam had indicated that they would reconsider their resistance to the project, provided people relent. There has been resistance from people around the site of the proposed project of French firm Areva at Jaitapur.
Kadam, whose statement comes at a time when Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was holidaying in London, has denied that he himself was ever in support of the Jaitapur project.
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Malik wondered if the party was going the same way on Jaitapur, basing his doubts on the timing of Kadam’s statement, when Uddhav was in Europe.
Malik said, “In 1995, Shiv Sena had changed its stand on Enron overnight after Rebecca P Mark, the then head of Enron’s international gas and power operations, visited Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at his Matoshree home in Mumbai,” Malik said.
He raised doubts whether any similar meeting was held with Uddhav over Jaitapur.
Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest efforts to reach out to the Muslim community, he said, “If the PM is serious about welfare of the community, he must involve it in the decision making process. None of the BJP-ruled states have a Muslim minister.” Malik said the Prime Minister should consider imparting free education— from kindergarten to post graduation— for disadvantaged sections among the minorities.