PM's NGO remark on K'kulam fuels a row, borne by probe: Govt

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's charge that foreign NGOs were stoking protests at the Kudankulam nuclear plant stemmed from a Home Ministry inquiry, Government said today, as the remark triggered a row with activists spearheading the stir dismissing it as baseless.

The BJP had demanded facts on the 'very important' statement by Singh be made public.

The statement by Singh was endorsed by Congress which said it was given on the basis of the reports given by the intelligence agencies.

"Party supports his statement", Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said in New Delhi.

Minister for State in the PMO V. Narayanasamy said three NGOs were found to be diverting foreign funds for the anti- nuclear campaign in Kudankulam and their licences cancelled.

The cancellation followed a Home Ministry inquiry that the NGOs were using funds meant for social causes to fuel the protests, he said.

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley asked the government to make public its stand on the Indo-Russian joint venture in Tamil Nadu.

"It is a very important statement that the Prime Minister has made.

Therefore, since he has made a statement, I think the government must make facts in regard to this public so that the veracity of all this is known to people of India who are in a position then to decide what is the correct position," Jaitley said.

People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy(PMANE) spearheading the stir against Kudankulam rejected as baseless Singh's remark. The commissioning of the plant in Tirunelveli district has been stalled due to the protests.

"It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister has made the allegations without any documentary proof. We strongly deny his observation that the agitation is being funded by other countries," S.P. Udayakumar told reporters in Chennai.

Former Atomic Energy Commission Chief Dr. Anil Kakodkar shared Singh's sentiments, saying 'a nuclear power plant cannot be put under a siege the way it has happened now'.

The Prime Minister in an interview to the Science journal criticised non-governmental organisations that received support from abroad for leading protests against the nuclear plant.

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