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Updated: February 9, 2010 17:43 IST

Bt Brinjal issue: CPI seeks PM’s intervention

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Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan. A File Photo: Nagara Gopal
Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan. A File Photo: Nagara Gopal

The CPI on Tuesday sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to restrain Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh from announcing any decision favouring Bt Brinjal, saying the opposition of several State governments has not been considered.

“The Minister is in haste to clear the decks for Bt Brinjal on the basis of the views expressed by multinational companies like Monsanto,” the CPI Central Secretariat said in a hard-hitting statement here.

Noting that there was “widespread opposition” to Bt Brinjal, the party said even the public hearings organised by Mr. Ramesh “in arbitrarily selected metros ended in a kind of anarchic situation due to opposition“.

It said the Minister “never bothered to understand” why several State governments like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal were opposing it.

Mr. Ramesh also “never thought” that agriculture, being a concurrent subject, the Bt Brinjal issue should have been discussed by State assemblies and a meeting of State Agriculture Ministers should have been held.

Observing that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also acknowledged the genuine concerns and apprehension about genetically-modified foods, it said the Minister, however, was “over-enthusiastic to support Bt Brinjal” and “has been threatening to announce a decision in a day or two“.

The CPI urged the PM to “intervene in the matter without delay and restrain the Minister from announcing any decision on a very sensitive issue of Bt Brinjal.”

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