DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi on Friday said the State government must take steps to find a peaceful solution to the impasse over the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), by holding talks with protestors. But whatever hopes Karunanidhi may have harboured of winning favour with the anti-nuclear lobby in the deep south were dashed by a strongly worded statement against his demand by the Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).
“This ‘majority’ government must not use police force with the idea that it can stifle the protests. Those in government must hold talks with the protestors to find a peaceful solution, instead if thinking it can smother the protests,” Karunanidhi said, as he reproduced a copy of a statement he had issued in September 2012. His attempt to speak up for the anti-nuclear protestors, however, backfired later in the day, with PMANE strongly condemning him and accusing him of trying to take petty political advantage of their predicament.
“DMK president M Karunanidhi has taken an old statement, dusted it off and issued it. This re-release is a massive betrayal and exposes the empty politicking of the DMK,” said a PMANE statement. “Instead of taking the welfare of the people into account, giving priority to their demands and realigning his party’s stance as required, Kalaignar has as usual indulged in anti-AIADMK politics. We strongly condemn this,” the statement added.
PMANE lashed out at Karunanidhi for suggesting talks after he had earlier called for the commissioning of KKNPP. It demanded that the DMK make its stand on the matter clear. “Does this flip-flop on the matter amount to political acumen if he does it, but skulduggery if others do it?” PMANE questioned in its statement.