The countdown for the downfall of DMK government, which is forcibly snatching away cultivable lands from the farmers for NLCIL expansion, has begun, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said on Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Speaking to reporters at Thoothukudi airport, Dr. Ramadoss said the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, which was started 66-years ago, for augmenting Tamil Nadu’s power generation, had lost its ‘utility value’ after the State achieved ‘power surplus’ status as per the claims made by the present and previous governments. Tamil Nadu, which was generating 36,000 MW power annually, was in need of 18,000 MW. The State government, as per its policies, was planning to increase 50% of its generation of power through renewable sources by 2030 and to achieve ‘zero carbon emission’ by 2040.
The NLCIL, which was giving 800 MW power to Tamil Nadu, was supplying only 400 MW now for which 50,000 acre was being destroyed in the guise of development. The Stalin-led government should give up its anti-farmer plans. The PMK had been fighting against NLCIL over the past 40 years. It organised a series of protests and met the ministers and the Chief Secretary at Fort St. George over land acquisition.
However, the anti-farmer DMK government’s police triggered tension, clashed with protesting PMK cadre and foisted case against them besides detaining them.
Drawing a parallel to Singur and Nandigram incidents, Dr. Ramadoss said the CPI(M) was driven out of power in West Bengal when they tried to crush the farmers’ protests in the guise of industrial development.
“We don’t do politics and politicise the NLCIL issue as it is farmers’ issue. So, I warn Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Minister for Finance and Electricity Thangam Thennarasu that the countdown for DMK’s downfall has begun from Neyveli, where standing paddy crop has been destroyed without conscience.
“The Collector says he will give compensation for the crops destroyed. Will you eat the currency notes or rice? What you saw in Neyveli (the protest) yesterday is only a sample. Our agitation will be unprecedentedly intense in the days to come. We’ll not stop until you stop (acquiring lands),” he warned them.
The DMK, if it was really serious about job creation in Tamil Nadu, should have revived the Nanguneri Special Economic Zone started by its government in 2000. “Now, this SEZ has only 13 units with just 600 workers even after 23 years of existence,” Dr. Ramadoss pointed out.
Instead of coercing the PMK for supporting the protesting farmers, Mr. Thennarasu should concentrate on managing the State’s finances “in doldrums”, he said.
“The DMK, which borrowed ₹2.40 lakh crore ever since it came to power two years ago, is staring at ₹12 lakh crore debt including the borrowings of State public sector undertakings. So, Mr. Thangam Thennarsu should concentrate on reducing debt burden instead of warning us,” he said.
The PMK leader also mocked at BJP State president K. Annamalai’s assertion that NLCIL would augment employment opportunities for Tamils.
“The Tamils, who are not given any decent job in NLCIL, are being hired to do menial jobs there while North Indians are occupying top positions. Do you want the Tamils, after losing their fertile lands, to do such lowly jobs in NLCIL?” Dr. Ramadoss asked.
He pointed out that Mr. Annamalai was protesting against the acquisition of 3,000 acres of land for SIPCOT Industrial Estate at Annur.
“It is an arid land where groundwater is available only beyond 1,000 feet. If the industrial estate is established in this uncultivable land, thousands of youth would have got jobs. But he supports acquisition of fertile land, which is part of Cauvery delta,” the PMK leader said, claiming that the PMK that stopped TATA’s plans to acquire over 10,000 acres in southern districts for its titanium project, would stop NLCIL plans too.
Wishing Mr. Annamalai’s yatra a success, he said he did not participate in the flagging off event because he had more serious work at Neyveli.
He appealed to the farmers across Tamil Nadu to join hands with the protesting farmers in Neyveli.
Later in the night, he participated in the PMK’s public meeting held at Palayamkottai.