‘Will withdraw stir if locals favour Koodankulam’

An anti-nuclear forum spearheading the stir against Koodankulam Plant said they would withdraw their protest if locals favoured the project.

Chennai: An anti-nuclear forum spearheading the stir against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant on Monday said they would withdraw their protest if most locals favoured the project and demanded that the state government constituted
panel visit all villages and towns affected by KNPP.

"We hope the team comes to our villages, talks to our people, respects their feelings and takes a decision after considering sentiments of the people. We have no problem if a majority of people in affected area favour the plant. Our team
will step out immediately," SP Udayakumar, convenor of People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy told reporters here.

He said PMANE would be happy to work with the panel if they
took a decision in a democratic manner. They would then have to
consult PMANE expert team as it had come up with a clear study
on the area and the project, he said.

Udayakumar warned that PMANE would continue its stir if the locals thought the panel was not doing its job well.

He said they would submit a plea to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with a request that the panel have clear terms of reference, mandate and timeline.

He said he would file a criminal defamation case against MoS in PMO V Narayanasamy for alleging that he received money from foreign sources. Narayanasamy has not provided any proof nor replied to queries on where the money came from, on what date and which account the money was received, he said.

On Home Minister P Chidambaram`s comments on the money received by him for protests, he said "I welcome his statement. If I am proved guilty, I am ready to face any kind of penalty including death penalty."

Asked if PMANE had invited AIADMK and DMK to their anti nuclear meet here on Feb 26, he said they had invited AIADMK as it is the ruling party, but not DMK, who was for the nuclear power option and whose MP Kanimozhi recently supported
India US nuclear deal.

He denied charges of foreign funding for their protests, saying it is voluntary contributions in cash and kind by fishermen, farmers, merchants and women rolling beedies.