Manmohan Singh warmly welcomed in Chennai

December 25th, 2011 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, Dec 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here Sunday evening on a two-day visit during which he will meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her predecessor M. Karunanidhi.

Governor K. Rosaiah, the chief minister, her cabinet colleagues and leaders of the Congress party gave him a warm welcome at the airport.

Jayalalthaa will call on Manmohan Singh at Raj Bhavan and present him a memorandum on various issues.

This is the first time Manmohan Singh is visiting Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK took power in May.

Jayalalithaa is upset with the central government for not heeding her requests for financial assistance, supply more power and increase kerosene allocation to the state.

She will also discuss the Mullaperiyar dam row with Kerala.

On Monday, Manmohan Singh will participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of mathematician S. Ramanujan organised by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

He will then leave for Karaikudi in Sivaganga district to take part in a function at Alagappa University and inaugurate the 100th eye hospital of Vasan Healthcare Group. He returns to New Delhi late Monday.

DMK president Karunanidhi told has said he too will meet Manmohan Singh to discuss the Mullaperiyar issue. He will take up the issue of attacks on Tamils in Kerala.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam — located in Kerala but under the control of Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu is against Kerala’s demand for a new dam and reduction in storage level to 120 feet till a new one is built.

The other burning issue in Tamil Nadu is the stalled Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai, at an outlay of Rs.13,171 crore.

The first unit was slated to be commissioned in December. But protests by villagers over safety concerns stalled all project-related activities.

The Tamil Nadu cabinet has urged the central government to stop all work at the project site till the fears are allayed.

Manmohan Singh’s comments during his recent Russian visit that the first reactor at Kundankulam would be made operational in two weeks time did not go down well with Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa wrote to the prime minister that she was “amazed” to see such comments being made and reminded him of the cabinet resolution.

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