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Updated: April 2, 2014 17:01 IST

Udayakumar: Church has not sponsored me

Sruthisagar Yamunan
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S.P. Udayakumar
The Hindu S.P. Udayakumar

He led a people’s protest at Idinthakari near Kudankulam that turned the spotlight on the pros and cons of nuclear energy. With his nomination as Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate for Kanyakumari, anti-nuclear activist S.P. Udayakumar hopes to take his arguments against nuclear plants to the floor of Parliament. Excerpts from the interview he gave Sruthisagar Yamunan:

You are perceived to have strong association with the Church in South Tamil Nadu. How does the Church in Kanyakumari view your candidature?

I have not associated myself with the Church in any official manner. I happen to be fighting against a nuclear plant which is in a Christian village. Of course, the people who were in the struggle were Christians. The Church has not sponsored either me or any other candidate.

You decided to go to the AAP rather than jump into the fray on your own. How will this help?

It has helped widen the base. Young and first-time voters are enthusiastic about the AAP and also are people who are fed up with the corrupt political discourse of the day. As days go by, I am sure this support will swell.

But the AAP has not come out in clear terms on where it stands on nuclear energy. So what made you choose the party?

We wrote letters to many parties but received no replies. On the other hand, senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan is arguing our case in the Supreme Court. Mr. Kejriwal came to Idinthakarai and supported us. The party has given to us in writing that the local people should give their consent for any mega project. This answers most of our concerns. They have also agreed that there needs to be a larger debate on the nuclear policy of the country.

Some parties in Tamil Nadu supported your anti-nuclear struggle but have joined hands with the BJP which does not oppose nuclear energy. How do you see this?

It is unfortunate. The MDMK, the PMK, the VCK and others have joined hands with parties that are pro-nuclear. It is political expediency which is the reason. This is why we chose an alternative outside Tamil Nadu in the AAP.

But the AAP doesn’t seem to be taking on the BJP or the Congress stridently in Tamil Nadu despite being ideologically against them. Why so?

I do not have an answer for that. The AAP is a young party and it is even younger in Tamil Nadu. It is not very well organised in the State yet. There is also no strong leadership for the party. These are the reasons I think we have not come out clearly on many issues.

Union Minister V. Narayanasamy accused you of accessing foreign funds. The Delhi HC has ruled both the Congress and the BJP have violated laws governing foreign contributions. How do you see it?

This is divine justice. We never accessed any foreign funding or any illegal funding for that matter. Every thing we do is done openly.

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Vote for Udayakumar to avoid nuclear catastrophe and SCRAP Indinthakarai
Kundankulam Nuclear plant. Otherwise DEFINITE catastrophe: Alphabetical
Another progression HIROSHIMA , I , J , KUDANKULAM , L , M , NAGASAKI
.....- Kudankulam will be bombed by Fascxist Lanka with Chinese help .
Already Lanka is attacking Indian fishermen in Indian waters . 5 of
Indians terribly injured yesterday at Dhanushkodi.

from:  mort
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 13:19 IST

Great candidate!...need more of such people. AAP 2014!

from:  Jay
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 11:19 IST

I appreciate Udayakumar's honest efforts in fighting for what he believes is right, but cannot digest his calling a village in India as a Christian village! Then we will have Hindu towns, Muslim cities and Jain states,, a very dangerous thing for the unity of India,

from:  Murali
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 10:39 IST

By jupiter, what in the world is a Christian village in India. Is one even supposed to be there?

from:  sri
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 10:14 IST

Nuclear plants can not be the solution for power shortage in India. The whole world knows the horrible risks involved in it. Chernobyl and Fukushima should serve as a warning to all of us. Even advanced countries like Russia and Japan were helpless when there was an accident. The argument that adequate safety measures are in place does not simply wash because it was so in Russia and Japan also. Should anything happen in Kudankulam, God forbid, Tamilnadu and Kerala would simply be wiped off the map and one can't even imagine the horror that would be unleashed by such a disaster. India is a sun drenched country and all efforts must be made to harness this harmless renewable source of energy and also wind power. But these do not bring publicity and opportunities for large scale corruption. Politicians go for it for electoral gains. I ardently wish Udayakumar wins.

from:  chris theodore
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 03:54 IST

I agree about nuclear power problems the other side of it is cheaper than coal or fossil fuel one has to consider the pros and cons. The country has to have industries which need power supply and the options best suited for our economy. Saudi Arabia has power plants running on fossil fuel which we cannot afford.

from:  Anjaneyulu
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 03:46 IST
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