Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan rejected on Sunday BJP prime ministerial candidate Narenda Modi’s allegations against her. Mr. Modi, speaking at an election rally in Goa, accused the former Environment Minister of sitting on files and blocking clearance to projects.
Alleging that Mr. Modi targeted her because she had spoken against him on various occasions, Ms. Natarajan said: “Narendra Modi cannot intimidate me into silence.” She said it was likely that her taking action against some projects in Gujarat for green violations may have prompted Mr Modi’s comments. “His allegations against me are completely basesless,” Ms. Natarajan told TV news channels.
Ms. Natarajan was replaced by Veerappa Moily as Union Environment and Forests Minister on December 24.
During her tenure as Environment Minister, she had imposed a Rs. 200-crore environment restitution penalty on Adani group’s Mundra port project in Gujarat for violation of green norms. The Ministry had also taken a tough stance against Nirma’s cement plant in Bhavnagar.
Both corporate groups are seen as being close to Mr. Modi.