Maharashtra chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan has no plans to call on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in a bid to seek his party’s support to the controversial Jaitapur nuclear power project.
Mr Chavan has already had a meeting with Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray in this regard and the latter was said to have backed this project. But Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane’s emergence on the scene appears to have provoked the Shiv Sena.
Besides, opposition to the project by over 20 members of the civil society groups in the state and some Union ministers statements’ have created confusion. The members include Justice P.B. Sawant, Mr B.G. Kolse-Patil, Mr S.P. Shukla, Admir Ramdas, Mr Amjad Borkar, Mr Banwarilal Sharma and Ms Sulbha Brahme. According to the sources, PM Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the Maharashtra chief minister, Union minister of state for environment and forests, minister of the state in the PMO held here on Tuesday along with other officials was aimed at removing confusion created by statements of some ministers.
Though a section of the Congress is fearing that the coal lobby is opposing the Jaitapur project, Congress leaders are recalling how the Shiv Sena-BJP combine had earlier launched a campaign against the Enron-controlled Dabhol power project and backed it after coming to power in Maharashtra in 1995.
The state government is open to talk with anyone who has reservations about the Jaitapur project and even with those who oppose nuclear power on ideological grounds. But it is unclear how the government and the ruling Congress-NCP combine would deal opponents and civil society groups if they create one more Anna Hazare. Asian Age