Sack Rane for threatening anti-nuke activists: Maharashtra party


Mumbai: Maharashtra’s opposition Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF) Sunday demanded the sacking of state Industries Minister Narayan Rane for his threats issued to activists opposing the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

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In a statement, the RLDF took strong exception to Rane’s statements in Ratnagiri last Friday when the minister warned that those agitating with mala fide intentions against JNPP “would not be allowed to return”.

Slamming the remarks, RLDF leader Ramdas Athawale sought a clarification from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Rane’s outburst and demanded to know whether he was in agreement with them.

“If the government does not endorse Rane’s views, then he must be sacked forthwith from the cabinet,” he demanded.

Addressing a meeting of party workers and others Friday in Ratnagiri district where JNPP is scheduled to come up with French collaboration of Areva company, Rane said: “You have protested and we listened to you. But if you come here with wrong intentions, we shall not tolerate it. We will not allow you to spoil the situation, and you will not return.”

Athawale said that Rane had thrown all democratic norms to the wind and publicly threatened “to finish off” those protesting against JNPP.

“This is clearly a cognizable offence and Home Minister R.R. Patil must take appropriate action in the serious matter,” he urged.

Claiming international political compulsions fuelled by the visit of US President Barack Obama and then by French President Nicolas Sarkozy which pushed through the 9,900-MW JNPP, Athawale said that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has not even responded to the primary objections and apprehensions of the local people and experts.

The RLDF demand to take criminal action against Rane and sacking him from the cabinet was also made by other party leaders like Mahadev Jankar, Ashok Dhawale, S.V. Jadhav, Prakash Reddy, Pratap Hogade, Arjun Dangle, Sanjeev Sane, Anna Khandare, Madhu Mohite, Mohan Adsul, Kishore Dhamale and Pratibha Shinde.

Meanwhile, Chavan last week offered to go to Jaitapur and speak to the locals and get their views and opinions on the JNPP, and Rane is also likely to follow suit.