Truth or Political Stunt : PM alleges foreign funding in protests against Koodankulam N-Plant

While PM Manmohan Singh’s recent statement that some NGOs were misusing foreign funds to fuel anti-nuclear protest in Koodankulam can be seen as a strategic move to weaken the protest, he will have to support his allegations with substantial proofs lest he should lose his credibility and accountability. These remarks have created political ruckus in India, BJP has expressed its discontent over the latest development and has dared PM to come out clean. In the recent development, Russian counterparts have jumped on to bandwagon, stating that they apprehended US funding behind these protests eversince.

Earlier Dr Singh was quoted as saying The atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs mostly, I think, based in the US, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase energy.

Koodankulam came into prominence for widespread protests against the upcoming Nuclear Plant. The commissioning of the Indo-Russian joint venture, originally scheduled for December last, has been put to halt following continuing protests against the plant by the local population over safety concerns. Talks initiated by Government have failed to bring out any constructive result. Dr Singh’s recent allegation has added fuel to the fire with fresh protests reported in Koodankulam. This may also have adverse impact on the bilateral Indo-US relations.

In a similar development, licences of three NGOs active in the Kudankulam region have been cancelled. Minister of State in Prime Minister Office V Narayanasamy on Saturday asked anti-Kudankulam activist SP Udayakumar to explain his links to Sweden funded NGO.
“These NGOs were receiving funds from foreign countries for social service causes like helping the physically handicapped and eradication of leprosy but these were being diverted for anti-nuclear protests” Narayanasamy said.


While Kumar maintained that he is only part of the expert panel of the NGO spearheading anti- Kudankulam agitation, he is now contemplating legal recourse. He threatened to sue the PMO for these allegations.

Whatever be the truth- Politicizing sensitive issues like Nuclear Energy is disheartening. PM is not expected to blare out such allegation in public. Of course such developments are not helping the cause. Moreover dubious role of NGOs in diverting funds in 2G scam case is known to all, his silence on those cases and promptness in the present scenario clearly establishes his double standards.

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Amit

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