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Kudankulam protests: Karuna slams Jaya for police action

Chennai: Slamming the Jayalalithaa government for using police force against anti-nuclear protesters in Kudankulam, DMK president M Karunanidhi today said the Centre and state should immediately initiate dialogue with the protesters' leaders to find an amicable solution.

Squarely blaming his arch rival AIADMK supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa for the present situation, he said her government initially "encouraged" the protesters but was now trying to suppress them, aggravating the situation.

DMK chief K Karunanidhi. PTI

Jayalalithaa's refusal to talk to the representatives of the protesters was an "unpardonable" mistake and the Centre and state governments should invite them for a dialogue, he said in a statement two days after the protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant turned violent.

Citing People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy leader SP Udayakumar's remarks that the protesters had been let down by the chief minister, Karunanidhi said, "This shows how the protest has escalated to this level."

Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of UPA, also criticised state Congress chief BS Gnanadesikan's comments that people should not fall prey to "false" propaganda of the protesters on the safety of the project.

"It is only people who prevented Udayakumar from surrendering. Since the protest has gone out of the hands of its leaders and taken over by the people, the Congress leaders should impress upon the Central leaders to hold talks with the protesters," he said apparently referring to the protesters
opposing Udayakumar's move to surrender on Tuesday.

The DMK chief also found fault with the protesters for raising the issue when the project was on the verge of commissioning after spending thousands of crores of rupees.

PTI