Parties face campaign ban in Idinthakarai

March 17, 2014 12:03 am | Updated May 19, 2016 09:15 am IST - Nagercoil

The political fallout of the 944-day-old movement against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district is already beginning to tell in the early stages of the Lok Sabha poll campaign.

The village People’s Committee of Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), has decided not to allow any political party in the village.

The ban does not spare even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), sympathetic to the anti-nuclear movement, notwithstanding the fact that the PMANE convener, S.P. Udayakumar, has joined it. He is also likely to contest on an AAP ticket from the nearby Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency.

“The village is a battleground for the continuing peaceful protests against the KKNPP and people assembly there every day to express their protest. If we allow political campaigns, the bursting of crackers, beating of drums and blaring of songs and the like, it will disturb the calm environment prevailing there,” said S.R.J. Augustin, the leader of the village.

On March 15, the village convened a meeting and resolved not to allow election campaigns inside the village. It had no objection to political leaders meeting the church administration.

Mr. Augustin explained that the village had consciously decided not to make any concession in the case of AAP as well, because they had decided to treat all political parties equally.

Further, allowing political parties to campaign at Idinthakarai could also lead to a law and order problem, he feared, as leaders were likely to make rival claims on use and abuse of nuclear energy.

“But we are not against people voting in the elections. It is their democratic right and they can vote for the party of their liking,” Mr. Augustin said.

Asked about the decision of the village, Mr. Udayakumar said it was a “just and fair” decision and he was happy about it.

“I have no reasons to regret. The objective is to prevent outsiders, particularly the sand mafia, from entering the village and creating problem. They have been waiting for an opportunity all these days as the village once remained a strong base for both AIADMK and the DMK,” said Mr. Udayakumar, adding that he was also taken into confidence by the village committee before taking the decision. He said people in some of the other nearby coastal villages, where the KNPP issue has turned a sensitive one, also had put up posters, urging political parties to stay away from those villages during the campaign.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.