Seeking Tamil Nadu government’s cooperation in the commissioning of the stir-hit Kudankulam Nuclear power plant, the Centre today said the anti-nuclear protestors should be dealt with an “iron fist”.

“In the name of protests, these persons are creating roadblocks against the welfare of the country and Tamil Nadu even as the Centre is taking all steps to help the people of the state by providing electricity,” Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said.

Speaking to reporters at a function here to mark the release of a 30-minute short film on the need for Kudankulam power plant, Mr. Vasan said the State government should control the protesters.

“The protests are going on for about nine months now. Tamil Nadu government should control them and deal with them with an iron fist,” he said, adding, all doubts and apprehensions about the safety of the plant and related issues had been addressed.

On the budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Mr. Vasan said it laid the foundation for future growth. It had provisions for shipping sector which would help in its growth, including capacity expansion of ports and more import of dredging vessels due to the various sops announced, he said.

On the issue of the U.S.-supported resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes at UNHRC, Mr. Vasan said the State unit of the Congress had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking New Delhi’s support for the resolution.