Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Uddhav changed mind on Jaitapur, Anna Hazare is for it, says Chauhan

New Delhi: Chief minister Prithviraj Chauhan said at the press conference, that followed a crucial, high level meeting convened by prime minister Manmohan Singh, though the local people of Jaitapur and the surrounding area had their fears about the proposed nuclear plant in the neighbourhood, he would continue to engage with them and convince them to the last man. He said a generous compensation would also be worked out for them. He says that the people and groups objecting vociferously to the nuclear plant did not belong to Jaitapur, and that they were outsiders.

He said that there were people who were ideologically opposed to the idea of nuclear power and that he would not be able to convince them. “I cannot convince Mr Karat, (general secretary, CPI-M).” Asked about the Shiv Sena-led agitation against the plant, and whether he would reach out Sena chief Bal Thackeray, he revealed that he had a meeting with the party's working president Uddhav Thakceray and his team at his house some time back, and “Uddhav Thackeray supported the Jaitapur project.” Chauhan clarified that the younger Thackeray may have changed his mind after the nuclear accident at Fukushima.

Minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh added that the Sena had opposed the Enron project in the early 1990s and thundered that it would throw Entron into the Arabian Sea. “But when Sena came to power in alliance with the BJP, they cleared the Enron project.” He described the ongoing Sena agitation as a political game.

When a reporter teasingly asked whether the state government would yield if Anna Hazare were to go on fast against the Jaitapur plant the way the government at the centre did, Chauhan loudly and proudly said, “Anna Hazare rang me up and told me that he supported the Jaitapur project.”

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