Shiv Sena got Rs.5 bn to oppose Jaitapur: Narayan Rane

April 21st, 2011 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Uddhav Thackeray Mumbai, April 21 (IANS) Industry Minister Narayan Rane Thursday alleged that the opposition Shiv Sena had got funding of Rs.5 billion to stall the 9,900-MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project.

Rane said in the Maharashtra assembly that 11 industrialists - whom he did not identify - had allegedly funded the Shiv Sena to carry out its ongoing agitation in Ratnagiri district where JNPP is being set up.

At the time, Sena leaders were not available inside the house, but after they were informed they rushed back to take part in the discussion.

Sena group leader Subhash Desai promptly denied the allegations and demanded that Rane should provide evidence to support his claims.

Former Opposition leader Ramdas Kadam also dismissed Rane’s allegations as “baseless” and challenged him to give proof of his statements.

Kadam pointed out that in the past, Rane had made allegations that some political leaders were aware of the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. However, even at that time, he failed to substantiate his allegations, Kadam said.

Earlier, the minister, a former chief minister of the Shiv Sena, has termed the Sena agitation as ‘anti-development’ and against the interests of the people of the backward Konkan region.

Outside the assembly, Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut dismissed Rane’s allegations as “a conspiracy to defame” the anti-JNPP protests.

Raut said the anti-JNPP protests have now become a mass movement in the Konkan region.

“The ground is slipping from underneath Rane’s feet and Congress is finished in Konkan. So he keeps making such statements,” Raut said.

It may be recalled that after Union Minister for Environment & Forests Jairam Ramesh declared the centre’s intentions of implementing the JNPP, the Shiv Sena had adopted an aggressive stance in its opposition to the project.

A few days ago, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray had asserted that the party “would not allow JNPP to come up” in a public meeting in the region.

On Monday, several hundred Sainiks attempts to barge into the JNPP site and police resorted to caning them.

Later that afternoon, in Sakhri-Nate coastal village, protesters were fired at by the police, resulting in the death of one activist, followed by a Ratnagiri shutdown call which saw sporadic incidents of violence last Tuesday.

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