Taking serious note of its senior leader V.S. Achuthanandan’s criticism of the party’s stand on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] has censured him for his refusal to abide by the party’s viewpoint.
The censure was issued at the end of a three-day meeting of the Central Committee here on Sunday. The committee also directed Mr. Achuthanandan to adopt the stand taken by the CPI(M) at the 20th Part Congress that opposed the setting up of nuclear parks with imported reactors following the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. However, in the case of the Kudankulam reactors, the political resolution made an exception as the agreement for these was signed two decades before the Indo-U.S. deal. Since then, two reactors from Russia have already been constructed at considerable cost and are in the final pre-commissioning stage.
The resolution, however, stressed that given the local people’s apprehensions about their safety and livelihood after the Fukushima accident in Japan, their concerns should be met. There should be an independent safety audit and necessary safety measures must be put in place before the reactors are commissioned, the resolution adopted at the end of the meeting said. An independent safety review has not been conducted yet.
In the meantime, the people protesting at Kudankulam have been subjected to police repression and a large number of cases have been foisted on them. Mr. Achuthanandan had wanted the party to change its position and extend support to those protesting against the commiss ioning of nuclear plants.
(It may be recalled that Mr. Achuthanandan had expressed his support to the ongoing agitation by fishermen against the Kudamkulam nuclear plant. He tried to travel to Kudankulam to express his solidarity with the agitators, defying the State leadership of the party who opposed his trip. However, he had to return to Thiruvananthapuram after the Tamil Nadu police stopped him on the border.)