Minister on Friday said project would be implemented, contradicting his earlier stand
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister for Environment and Forests, for his “U-turn” on the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project.
At a press conference in Mumbai on Friday, Mr. Ramesh had said that the project would be implemented and there was no rethink in the government on it.
Bid to burn effigy
Protesting against Mr. Ramesh's stand, party workers in Rajapur, Ratnagiri district, where the plant is set to come up, tried to burn the Minister's effigy.
On Saturday, “around 20 Sena workers gathered at Jawahar Chowk at 10 a.m. and tried to burn [Mr. Ramesh's] effigy. They were immediately detained and later let off. No offence was registered,” the Ratnagiri Police said.
In a press statement, Mr. Thackeray said, “Jairam Ramesh should stop his silly antics and playing with the lives of people.”
Coming down heavily for the change in position, Mr. Thackeray referred back to an earlier statement by the Minister. “Mr. Ramesh should go back to his statement made last week. In a letter to the Prime Minister, he had questioned whether erecting such a huge project at one place would be appropriate from the point of view of environment and safety. But within eight days he has done a turnaround. It's a game for you [Mr. Ramesh], but people run the risk of losing their lives. You want to demolish Adarsh in the name of environment protection, but on the issue of Jaitapur, which will endanger lives and farming of a thousand people, you resort to antics.”
“Once you leave the Ministry, you will still live in comfort. But the citizens of Konkan will have to bear the consequences of your decision,” Mr. Thackeray said.He also criticised the government for disregarding the decision of the gram sabha. “You are elected on the basis of public sentiment, but once in power you forget the people. The people will teach you a lesson for this,” he said.