National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) convener Medha Patkar has said the model of development promoted by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is clearly pro-corporate.
Addressing a meet-the-press programme here on Tuesday, she said the Modi model of development was not different from the one promoted by the Manmohan Singh- Chidambaram- Montek Singh Ahluwalia combination.
“We need to be cautious and careful while exercising our franchise. The reality after elections may be vastly different from the manifestoes prepared and the promises delivered,” she said.Modi uttering lies
She alleged that Mr. Modi was increasingly uttering lies about the Sardar Sarovar dam project.
She alleged that debates and controversies over the Lavasa project and reports of Western Ghats panels, and subsequent developments had led to the resignation of Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan.
“Earlier, Jairam Ramesh too had faced the same. Anyone who tries to revive environmental regulations will be shown the door. Anyone who is pro-corporate is in,” she said.
She criticised Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan for refusing sanction to the CBI to prosecute former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing scam.
“The Maharashtra Cabinet had rejected the report of a judicial commission on the scam. All these have the support of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,” she added.
She said the Union and State governments should accept the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), chaired by Madhav Gadgil.
“Instead of convincing the people of the recommendations of WGEEP, the government had appointed the Kasturirangan-led high-level working group (HLWG) to review the Gadgil report. The NAPM demands that the Union government should reject the Kasturiranghan report as it has violated the terms of reference and subverted the concept of decentralisation and participatory development upheld by the Gadgil report. A division of Western Ghats, with two thirds of it as cultural landscape, will result in its further degradation,” she said.False propaganda
She called for an end to the false propaganda that people who lived in the Western Ghats would be evicted from their land and livelihood if the Gadgil committee report was implemented.
She said the Left parties had taken an unscientific stance on the issue.
“The NAPM demands withdrawal of proposals for airports in the Western Ghats region of Wayanad and Idukki. The government must take immediate steps to stop all illegal activities in the Ghats, including mining and quarrying,” she added.
She described high-speed rail corridors, privatisation of national highways and the proposed Aranmula airport as anti-people activities.
She called for the closure of Nitta Gelatin India Limited (NGIL), a company based in Kathikudam, near here, that faced allegations of environmental pollution.