Tamil Nadu nuke row: Protesters call off fast

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J Jayalalithaa
Chennai, Sep 21: The 11-day-old fast by locals demanding the scrapping of the Koodankulam nuclear power project was today (Sept 21) called off after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa agreed for a cabinet resolution to request the Centre to halt the project.

"The Chief Minister has requested us to call off the fast and we are doing it now," S P Udhaya Kumar, Convenor of People's Movement against Atomic Power, spearheading the stir told reporters after his delegation met Jayalalithaa here.

The breakthrough came after Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy called on Jayalalithaaa to brief her on his visit to the protest site yesterday after being rushed as the Prime Minister's emissary in the wake of a strongly-worded letter by her demanding halting of the project work.

Narayanasamy said Jayalalithaa conveyed "certain message to the Prime Minister which I will convey to him." He also said he had conveyed to Jayalalithaa the message from Singh who will take a final decision.

Kumar said the Chief Minister assured them that a cabinet meeting would be convened tomorrow to request the Centre to halt the project and the state Government would seek an appointment with the Prime Minister for a meeting on the issue.

He said though the protestors promised to withdraw their indefinite fast, they will "continue to keep up the pressure on the government" to scrap the project, set to be commissioned in December, a decade after the work on it began.

"The committee will continue with the struggle in consultation with the AIADMK Government and the blessings of Amma (Jayalalithaa)," Kumar said.

"We do not have any problem with the state government. But, we will continue to keep our pressure against the Centre," he said, adding the meeting was ''very cordial''.

PTI

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