Mumbai, Apr 19 : Maharashtra Industry Minister Narayan Rane today blamed the Shiv Sena for instigating people at Jaitapur against the proposed nuclear power plant, which led to a violent protest killing one.
“This was Sena's attempt to gain political mileage. We have records of meetings taken by local legislators in the villages and a meeting held at Sena Bhavan to call a bandh in Jaitapur after which the people protested,” Rane informed the Legislative Council here.
The opposition Sena-BJP members had moved an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of Jaitapur keeping aside all the business.
The House was adjourned twice as the opposition demanded a discussion on the issue under rule 289.
The third was adjourned for a third time due to the absence of a Cabinet minister.
Chairman of the House Shivajirao Deshmukh allowed the discussion under rule 93.
However, the adjournment motion was refused with the House voting against it.
The motion was rejected as only 14 Sena-BJP members voted in favour of it as against 40 Congress-NCP members who opposed it.
In reply to the discussion, Rane said Sena's rally on April 9 instigated the local people and the atmosphere became sensitive.
The minister also refuted the charge that police had beaten up people by barging into their homes.
“A similar protest took place before the Enron power plant was set up in Konkan. But the people who opposed the project later turned into contractors,” Rane said.
He also warned the agitators that Konkan may not get new development projects in future if the nuclear power plant is withdrawn.
Stressing on the dire need for power, Home Minister R R Patil said that all the political parties have been protesting against power crunch in the state.
“There is shortage of 4,500 MW power in the state and the opposition should not make it an emotional issue,” Patil said.
Expressing unhappiness over the death of one of the agitators at Jaitapur yesterday, he said the police did not open fire immediately.
“Police were attacked by the mob and had to impose lathi charge but the agitators continued with their violent protest. Police used tear gas and plastic bullets but the crowd was not controlled,” he said.
“The police then fired 25 rounds of which 21 were fired in air. Three bullets injured people on legs and one person was killed as the bullet hit his stomach,” Patil said adding that the situation in which police opened fire must be considered.
Sena MLC Ramdas Kadam accused the government of trying to suppress the agitation and said it is destroying Konkan region by proposing various projects.
Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap said the incident which killed one was sad but one has to think more about security measures while setting up the project.
PWP MLC Jayant Patil asked why the government went ahead with the project without convincing the locals.
Ridiculing Sena's efforts to oppose the project, NCP MLC Kiran Pawaskar read out a message from social networking site twitter saying that “Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has gone to the Kanha national park for a tour after instigating locals at Jaitapur.” PTI