Madurai: Taking on the Centre on the
Koodankulam nuclear row, BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday wondered
why no decision had yet been taken on it, even as he said that
people`s safety was of primary concern.
Launching the second leg of his `jan chetna yatra` against
corruption and black money from here, he said most countries
have re-established their nuclear installations after the
Fukushima disaster in Japan, especially those near the sea,
from safety point of view.
"The Koodankulam power plant is also located near the sea.
Commercial considerations or the fact that the contract has
been accepted should not override the safty of the people,"
His comment came even as locals continued their protests
against the controversial Indo-Russian nuclear venture at
Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district.
The former Deputy Prime Minister said he has been witness
to all general elections from 1952 to 2009 and took a dig at
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, charging his UPA-led government
with being immersed in corruption.
"I am sorry to say that no government is more immersed in
corruption and no Prime Minister weaker than Manmohan Singh.
This government cannot take a decision as its decision making
process is paralysed. This is evident from the fact that it
has not taken a decision on Koodankulam issue," he said.
Claiming that his yatra, which started on October 11 from
Bihar, has evoked "enormous response", Advani said it was
primarily due to his stress on corruption and on getting back
black money stashed away in foreign havens.
He claimed Rs 25 lakh crore had been "looted" in the past
40-50 years and kept in foreign countries.
While countries like the US and Germany were determined to
retrieve similar monies, India was not showing interest
despite new legislation in Switzerland in this regard.
He said when BJP government tried to retrieve black money
they could not do so due to lack of laws in those countries.
He also recalled having written to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh three years back, saying it was the right time then to
bring back the black money stashed abroad. "But no effort had
been taken," he rued.
If the Rs 25 lakh crore stashed abroad was brought back
and invested in villages for education and infrastructure,
that would usher in real prosperity, he said.
He said his yatra, scheduled to cover over 7000 km across
23 states and four Union Territories, not only condemns the
Centre, but was also meant to make people compel the
government to act against the corrupt on black money.
Criticising the Centre on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue,
Advani said while the government had promised construction of
50,000 houses to war distressed Tamils, Foreign Secretary
Ranjan Mathai himself had reported slow progress on the issue.
On attacks on Indian fishermen,allegedly by the Sri Lankan
Navy, he said fishermen should not be allowed to be targeted
by the Navy of another country and urged the Centre to deal
with the issue as "one strategically important to the
The leader, whose rally was marked by small spells of rain
before his address,also visited a small temple adjacent to the
stage. He was accompanied by his daughter Prathibha.