Chennai: DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi on Friday slammed the state government for the "defeat" it had to suffer in the National Green Tribunal at Delhi granting conditional access to Vedanta Group to open and operate its Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi, alleging that the government counsel was more involved in arguing the case before the Madras HC through the previous night against grant of burial site for her party patriarch M. Karunanidhi. Consequently, counsel could not prepare enough for the NGT hearing, she said in a series of tweets that went viral.
"On May 22, after 13 people were killed in protest against Sterlite plant, TN ordered its permanent closure", she tweeted the backdrop to the Vedanta petition before the NGT that led to the access order, which in effect undid the closure government order.
Kanimozhi said when Vedanta moved the NGT against the state’s closure order, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan represented the government before the Tribunal. "But the briefing & discussion on yesterday's (August 9) hearing was done only at 10 am yesterday", whereas they should have been "at least a day before".
"But, CS Vaidyanathan was busy justifying the denial of space to our leader Kalaignar at Marina in Madras HC yesterday (August 9)", said another tweet from the DMK MP.
"If only (CM) Edappadi Palaniswami had showed the same kind of enthusiasm that he had showed in refusing space for Kalaignar (at Marina) to getting Sterlite permanently closed, this defeat (at NGT) would not have happened. Or was this done deliberately by the government for Palaniswami is taking TN to its lowest point in governance", Kanimozhi said in yet another tweet.
In what appeared to be an interim relief to Vedanta, the NGT had on Thursday granted permission to Sterlite Copper to access its administrative section but said the unit should keep its production part shut.