Shelving SSCP will mar country's image: CPI

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Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Feb 8 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu unit of the Communist Party of India today 'cautioned' the Centre that the integrity of the country will ruin, if the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) was not implemented.

Talking to reporters here this evening, CPI State Secretary D Pandiyan urged the Congress-led UPA Government not to scrap the project by bowing to the pressure from 'communal forces.' Quoting the recent remarks of senior Congress leaders Ms Ambika Soni and Digvijay Singh, who had reportedly talked in a 'manner' that the project was scrapped, Mr Pandiyan said the Congress High Command had not made any comments about these remarks.

He wanted to know if these remarks could be taken as the official stance of the Government.

''If the Centre scraps the project or delays its implementation, the people will treat it as a move against the interests of Tamil Nadu. Both the CPI and the CPI-M will hold a joint national-level protest, if the Centre fails to implement the project, he warned.

On the move to hike fuel prices, the CPI leader said there would be further increase in the prices of essential commodities, if it happened.

Terming Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora's statement that oil companies were incurring huge losses as an 'utter lie,' he quoted the recent survey of 'Fortune Magazine,' which placed the ONGC among the top profit-making oil companies in the world.

On the Sri Lankan ethnic issue, he said India should exert pressure on that country to restrain from aerial attacks on Tamil-dominated areas and remove sea mines planted near Neduntheevu islands.

UNI GSM SHB HT2317

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