Tamil Nadu Chief Minster Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced that the State Cabinet would adopt a resolution seeking suspension of work on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), prompting antagonists of the project to declare the withdrawal of their 11-day fast.
Ms. Jayalalithaa, who met representatives of the protesters at the Secretariat for nearly an hour, told them that the Cabinet would meet on Thursday and adopt a resolution calling for the suspension of the project execution until the apprehensions of people were allayed, according to an official release.
Since September 11, as many as 127 persons have been on fast at Idinthakarai, a coastal village about 80 km south of Tirunelveli town, against the KKNPP. On September 15, the talks between three State Ministers and the protesters failed.
The next day, the Chief Minister, while appealing to antagonists of the project to give up their protest, sought to assure them regarding its safety. On September 18, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam founder Vijayakant met the protesters at the site and extended his party's support to the agitation. On Monday, the Chief Minister, in her letter, urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order the halting of the project until concerns and fears about the plant's safety were addressed.
On the same day, Dr. Singh spoke to her and informed her that Union Minister of State V. Narayanasamy would be sent to Tamil Nadu. On Tuesday, Mr. Narayanasamy visited Idinthakarai.
Emerging from the meeting with the Chief Minister, S.P. Udhayakumar, one of the coordinators of the struggle committee against the Kudankulam project, told journalists that the fast was being called off in response to Ms. Jayalalithaa's call.
On reaching the protest site, the delegation would apprise the agitators of its discussion with the Chief Minister before formally calling upon them to abandon their fast. He added that in future, the committee's agitations would be focussed against the Central government. “We will work in harmony with them [Ministers of the region — P. Chendur Pandian, S.T. Chellapandian and K.T. Pachamal] and plan our future protest.”
Earlier, Mr. Narayanasamy held a brief meeting Ms. Jayalalithaa. He later told the reporters that the Chief Minister conveyed a “certain message” to be communicated to the Prime Minister.