Exclusive National

Jayanthi Natarajan quits Congress

A file picture of former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan.  

Former Union Environment Minister and Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan on Friday announced that she would quit the party.

In a > major disclosure made to The Hindu on Thursday, Ms. Natarajan had said she received “specific requests” from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on environmental clearances during UPA rule and she consequently rejected big-ticket projects despite pressure from Cabinet colleagues seeking approval.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said they are likely to take the line that Rahul Gandhi stood for tribal rights in his views on projects mentioned by Ms. Natarajan in her letter to Sonia Gandhi in November, exclusively available with The Hindu. The sources said there was nothing in the letter that indicated wrong doing. >Read story.

Live updates from the press conference:

1: 30 pm: I have no issues with Rahul Gandhi

1: 25 pm: I have sufficient proof to what I have said in my letter.

1: 20 pm: I was told not to go to the media. Congress leader Motilal Vora asked me not to join the new party launched by Vasan

1: 17 pm: I was not ready to contest the Lok Sabha polls. I was in a state of dejection and depression: Jayanthi Natarajan

1: 15 pm: Jayanthi Natarajan says "This is just not a political issue. I am sharing my agony as a victim."

1: 10 pm: I don't expect a call from high command. Even it comes, I am not willing to reconsider my decision.

1: 07 pm: I was a functionary and not part of the core group of the Congress.

1: 05 pm: I tried a 100 times to meet Shri Rahul Gandhi

1: 02 pm: I don't expect a call from high command. Even it comes, I am not willing to reconsider my decision

1: 00 pm: I am not accusing anybody of corruption. My own party has treated me so badly.

12: 59 pm: I was removed 100 days before election why I was removed...still I don't have an answer: Jayanthi Natarajan

12: 56 pm: "I welcome the BJP government to go through every single clearance given by me as Minister."

12: 55 pm: No plans to join any political party now, she says

12: 50 pm: Jayanthi Natarajan announces her resignation from the Tamil Nadu Congress Trust and primary membership of the party

12: 49 pm: I have not done anything wrong. Even the PM wrote appreciating my work

12: 48 pm: I am an utter loyalist of the Gandhi family. I am not ashamed saying this

12: 45 pm: Ajay Maken asked me to launch an attack on Modi on Snoopgate. I refused saying the spokesperson had to do it not me: Jayanthi Natarajan

12: 40 pm: I served the country as a good minister for environment following the instructions of my high command.

12: 39 pm: "Congress today is not the Congress I joined. Time has come to review my association"

12: 37 pm: Jayanthi Natarajan acknowledges > her letter published in The Hindu today. Says an extremely painful day.

12: 35 pm: "I am a fourth generation congress worker. I come from a family which has congress blood, " says Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi’s trajectory

  • First elected to Rajya Sabha in 1986 and again in 1992
  • 1996: Joins party leaders to form Tamil Maanila Congress
  • 1997: Resigns from Rajya Sabha and re-elected as TMC member. She is appointed Minister of State for Coal, Civil Aviation and Parliamentary Affairs in United Front government at the Centre
  • July 12, 2011: Jayanthi replaces Jairam Ramesh as Environment Minister in the UPA-led Union government
  • November 16, 2013: She is asked by Ajay Maken to address media to attack then BJP PM candidate Modi on ‘Snoopgate’ issue
  • December 19, 2013: She notifies order on the protection of Western Ghats based on Kasturirangan report amid protests
  • December 20, 2013: She is forced to resign as Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent Charge) to ‘work for the Congress party’
  • December 21, 2013: Rahul Gandhi addresses FICCI meet: “Many of you have expressed your frustration with environmental clearances that are delaying projects unduly. Environmental and social damage must be avoided, but decisions must also be transparent, timely and fair.”
  • January, 2014: Environment Minister Veerappa Moily clears pending mega projects
  • November 5, 2014: Jayanthi writes to Sonia Gandhi to express her anguish at the treatment meted out to her

Key projects stalled/rejected

Adani group project: Asked by Rahul Gandhi to ‘liase’ with Gujarat Congress’ Deepak Babaria on complaints by NGO, fisherfolk

Vedanta Rs.4,500-crore Bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills

August, 2010: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi assures Niyamgiri tribals he is their ‘sipahi [soldier] in Delhi’

April, 2013: Supreme Court rules Vedanta must get nod from 12 gram sabhas of Niyamgiri hills

“If the bauxite mining project in any way affects [villagers’] religious rights, especially their right to worship their deity, that right has to be preserved and protected” : SC Bench

January, 2014: MoEF rejects environmental clearance to project

Lavasa township project in Maharashtra

November, 2010: MoEF slaps financial penalty on Lavasa for violation of Environment Protection Act, orders fresh EIA

June, 2011: MoEF offers nod to project subject to five preconditions, Lavasa agrees to four (environmental restoration fund, CSR allocation, revised development plan)

November, 2011: MoEF grants clearance after year-long holdover

Nirma Cement plant in Gujarat

May, 2011: MoEF seeks relocation of plant from ‘wetland’ site

June, 2013: MoEF postpones expert panel’s pre-monsoon visit to site to ascertain whether it is waterbody or wasteland.

Supreme Court Bench call the postponement “abuse of process of law”

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:40:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jayanthi-natarajan-quits-congress/article6837760.ece

Next Story