Parties against nuclear plant in HaryanaRAJESH AHUJA
Opposition parties in Haryana have once again criticised the move to set up a nuclear power plant at Gorakhpur village in Fatehabad district of Haryana and extended support to the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti which has been spearheading the agitation for over 20 months.
State CPI (M) secretary Inderjit Singh told The Hindu that the Congress regime led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda has become "insensitive'' as it is going ahead with the "process of land acquisition despite resistance from farmers and safety concerns expressed by the residents of adjoining villages.''
He asserted that the concerns voiced by the people had "credibility and genuineness'' in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster a year ago.
The State and the Central governments should put the proposal on hold and give serious consideration to the opinions of experts who have openly favoured non-nuclear power as a better option, he said, adding that the CPI(M) would participate in the protest being held in Fatehabad on March 30.
The proposed plant is to come up on 1,313 acres of land spanning Gorakhpur, Kajalheri and Badopal villages in Fatehabad district.
Adopting a strident stand, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) secretary-general and MLA Ajay Singh Chautala warned that the powers that be would not be allowed to set up the proposed nuclear plant and INLD workers were even prepared to "face bullets in this endeavour''.
However, Hisar MP and Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldip Bishnoi while accusing the INLD of merely shedding "crocodile tears in a bid to extract political mileage'' claimed that he and his late father former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal had vociferously opposed the setting up of the nuclear plant.
"My father and I physically participated in the ongoing dharna and raised our voices in the Haryana Assembly and the Lok Sabha even though the INLD, with 30 members in the Vidhan Sabha, never raised the issue,'' he claimed.
Mr. Bishnoi reiterated that the Government should scrap the project and in a lighter mood asked why Mr. Hooda did not shift it to his home constituency of Kiloi to ensure further "development'' of the Rohtak belt.
Former Haryana Finance Minister Sampat Singh and Nalwa MLA, who after a long stint with the Devi Lal clan joined the Congress a couple of years ago, however, gave yet another "perspective'' to the issue.
He recently revealed that "public posturing apart'', several political stalwarts, be it the late Bhajan Lal or the late Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, had pleaded with the Centre during their respective tenures as Chief Ministers for setting up of a nuclear plant in the State to meet the "perennial power crisis''.
Mr. Sampat Singh, a former Power Minister, asserted that setting up of the nuclear plant was in the best interests of not only Haryana but even neighbouring states like Punjab and Rajasthan.