Even as the controversy over Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s appearance in Court for Endosulfan companies continued to rage, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday said there was no change in the party’s stand for a total ban on Endosulfan in the country.
“There is no question of Congress changing its stand on Endosulfan, whatever be the arguments,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram when asked about Mr. Singhvi’s arguments in Court against the ban.
Mr. Chandy said KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala had talked to Mr. Singhvi and the latter had given an explanation which was different from reports in the media. “But that does not make any change in our stance,” he said.
Senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran, who had strongly criticised Mr. Singhvi for appearing on behalf of pesticide firms, today described as ‘nonsensical’ the Indian Council of Medical Research position that further study was needed on Endosulfan.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretariat in a statement here said the appearance of Congress spokesman for Endosulfan companies had exposed the `unholy nexus’ between the Congress and the pesticide lobby.
Describing Mr. Abhishek Singhvi’s arguments opposing the ban on Endosulfan as `dangerous,’ CPI(M) wanted Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC to ask their party high command to expel Mr. Singhvi from its leadership.
The Congress was bent on helping the pesticide lobby without any regard for the consequences faced by poor people affected by dangerous pesticides like Endosulfan, it said.
Mr. Singhvi was only trying to protect the interests of the Congress party and the UPA government while appearing for Endosulfan manufacturers, the statement alleged.