As protests against proposed nuclear plants in India continue, the UPA has decided to brazen it out—both at home and abroad. The same team that bulldozed opposition to the 2008 nuclear deal has roped in commercial and academic interests to create a pro-nuclear climate among political, social and economic groups in India and overseas. Hostile leaders will be persuaded not to incite local populations against land acquisition for N-plants. Refusing to learn a lesson from the Fukushima disaster, the Indian government is, unwittingly, becoming a stooge of nuclear businessmen. Next month, a high-powered Indian team will participate in the ministerial-level meeting of the
What is Sharad Pawar up to?
When Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar sneezes, Congress leaders catch a cold. The massive political attack on his integrity had forced him to lie low for the past few months. Last week, he met Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu for over an hour in Delhi—their first meeting after the Assembly polls—flustering senior Congressmen. Since Naidu had earlier visited Chennai to attend Jayalalithaa’s swearing-in ceremony, his sudden arrival in New Delhi created a flutter in Congress circles. Pawar maintained that Naidu’s visit had no political overtones, but TDP leaders dropped enough hints suggesting otherwise. Pawar is assessing the Andhra Pradesh government’s stability; with the DMK in a sulk, a split in the Andhra Congress will rattle the UPA. Pawar’s annoyance with the Congress was obvious when he arrived late for the UPA’s second anniversary celebrations at the PM’s residence. While other allies shared the dais with Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, Pawar chose the first row, deputing Praful Patel to join them. After the speeches, he sat with Singh while others kept Sonia company.