Mumbai, Apr 19 (ANI): Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai on Tuesday criticized the Congress Party for losing its cool over the protest related to the construction of the 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) in Maharashtra.
He said the Congress was probably scared of the April 23 Shiv Sena meeting.
"See, this is incorrect. Our gathering, which is to be held sometime next week, it will be a very big event and would be a success, and the Congress leaders have lost their cool it seems. And the thoughts of this meeting have affected their minds. And they have most probably reacted like this and we condemn it," Desai told mediapersons.
"We have already said this that we will go by what the public there feels and says. From the very first day, Shiv Sena has said that we will stand by the public and if they don't want the (nuclear) project, then we will not let lend any help to the government," he added.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), however, blamed the Shiv Sena for the violent protest.
"The Jaitapur incident is very saddening. We have asked the government to inquire about it. And, they should include terms of reference in their inquiry on why shooting was carried out and who is at fault. And, with the term of reference, it should also be found out if there was anyone's conspiracy. For the last one-and-a-half months, the workers of Shiv Sena were plotting that they would hamper the law and order situation there," said NCP MLA Nawab Malik.
"The kind of environment they have created, and the Shiv Sena working President, all the MLAs, corporators, and over thousand people from Mumbai were taken there, and they forgot about the welfare of the people, and created and we have demanded an inquiry into all this," he added.
Congress MLA Bhau Singh Jatav condemning the violence said the police had to take action, as the Shiv Sena protestors had become unruly.
"In Jaitapur today, Shiv Sena organised a violent protest and pelted stones and marbles at the police. And to stop them, the police had to forcibly take charge of the situation and a casualty has taken place but now the situation is under control," he said.
The protests took place close on the heels of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's statement on Friday that that the government would implement the Jaitapur project despite hurdles.
The Minister's ruling out a 'rethink' appears to have given a further fillip to the protests.
The nuclear project at Jaitapur, which would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, has run into rough weather as protesters have argued that it would harm the local environment and put people at risk.
The project site is 25 meters above sea level. In the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan, India is planning urgent steps to review safety norms in its nuclear power plants in case of any eventuality and to withstand natural disasters of the magnitude as witnessed in Japan.
India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity while five other plants are under construction. (ANI)