Row over Manmohan’s anti-Kundankulam funding remark

File photo of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant waiting to be commissioned.

File photo of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant waiting to be commissioned.  

Even as PMANE, the principal body against the nuclear power plant cries foul in the Prime Minister’s claim, Minister V. Narayanaswamy has a Home Ministry inquiry report to back the claim

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s charge that foreign NGOs were stoking protests at the Kudankulam nuclear plant triggered a row, with the Home Ministry endorsing the claim and activists spearheading the stir dismissing it as “baseless”. BJP demanded that facts on the “very important” statement by Dr. Singh be made public.

The statement by Dr. Singh was endorsed by Congress which said it was given on the basis of the reports given by the intelligence agencies. “Party supports his statement”, Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said in New Delhi.

“Foreign NGOs behind protests”

Minister for State in the PMO V. Narayanasamy said three NGOs were found to be diverting foreign funds for the anti-nuclear campaign in Kudankulam and their licences cancelled.

The cancellation followed a Home Ministry inquiry that the NGOs were using funds meant for social causes to fuel the protests, he said.

Mr. Narayanasamy said the government had taken action after it found that some NGOs, receiving funds from the U.S. and Scandinavian countries, were spending huge amounts of money on the agitation.

“These NGOs were receiving funds from foreign countries for social service causes like helping the physically handicapped and eradication of leprosy but these were used for anti-nuclear protests,” he told PTI.

“In fact, the people who are agitating near the plant have been continuing their agitation for the past three months. People are being brought there in trucks from various villages, they are being given food,” he claimed.

Mr. Narayanasamy said three NGOs were found to be violating the FCRA guidelines by not using the funds for the cause they were received for.

He said the Prime Minister’s observation on anti-nuclear activists using foreign funds came from the inquiry.

PMANE rejects remark

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) spearheading the stir against Koodankulam rejected as baseless Dr. Singh’s remark. The commissioning of the plant in Tirunelveli district has been stalled due to the protests.

“It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister has made the allegations without any documentary proof. We strongly deny his observation that the agitation is being funded by other countries,” S.P. Udayakumar told reporters in Chennai.

Mr. Udayakumar demanded that Dr. Singh provide documentary proof in support of his allegation or withdraw his remarks.

Make details public: BJP

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley asked the government to make public the details of the alleged protest-funding NGOs.

“It is a very important statement that the Prime Minister has made. Therefore, since he has made a statement, I think the government must make facts in regard to this public so that the veracity of all this is known to people of India who are in a position then to decide what is the correct position,” Mr. Jaitley said.

CPI leader D. Raja alleged that the prime minister was trying to isolate some of the NGOs who are working among the local people in Kudankulam.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 10:32:53 AM |

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