Tamil nationalist groups, Dalit outfits and rights bodies take part

Tamil nationalist groups, Dalit outfits and human rights organisations on Sunday came together to express solidarity with the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in its campaign against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).

They held a seminar in the forenoon, took out a rally in the afternoon and addressed a public meeting in the evening.

Hundreds of people from Idinthakarai, where the protest against KKNPP is going on, and other fishing villages participated in the campaign in Chennai.

Quite vociferous among them was the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader and MP Thol Thirumavalavan, who came down heavily on major political parties, especially the Left parties, for their failure to support the campaign against KKNPP.

“We are not against power generation, but only oppose the nuclear policy of the government. It is part of our opposition against imperialism. The Left parties have always been in the forefront of the campaign against imperialism and they should have led the protest against Kudankulam project,” Mr. Thirumavalavan said.

Reacting to the argument that the government had invested hundreds of crores of rupees in the KKNPP and that it was unfair to scrap the project at this juncture, Mr Thirumavalavan wondered how the Centre had gone back on Sethusamudram project in the face of opposition from the BJP on the ground that it would damage ‘Rama Sethu'.

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) president V. Suresh said the Congress-led UPA government, which he alleged had betrayed the country by signing the nuclear agreement with the US and brought shame through the 2G spectrum scandal, had no locus standi to point a finger at the anti-Kudankulam movement.

Sundararajan of the Poovulagin Nanbargal, a movement committed to protect the environment, said there was no basis for the claim that KKNPP would produce 1,000 MW and it would help overcome Tamil Nadu's existing power crisis.

He said the unit would produce only 700 MW and the state would get only 220 MW after giving other states their due, line loss and power consumed for running the plants at Kudankulam.

Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani said the campaign was organised in Chennai to make a statement that the movement against KKNPP was not just confined to the local villages, but it had widespread support across the state.

Naam Tamizhar Iyakkar leader Seeman and former MLA Panruti T. Velmurugan were among those who participated.