Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 13 (IANS) Differences within the ruling LDF on the Athirapally power project have once again come to the fore as senior CPI leader Binoy Viswam on Sunday took potshots at Power Minister M.M. Mani and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

It’s strange that, of all people, there seems to be a consensus between Mani, a CPI-M leader, and former Congress Chief Minister Chandy on this issue, former Minister Viswam told media persons here.

“These things are to be decided by the Communist Party of India-Marxist State Secretary and not Mani. No one can decide on taking up this project (on his/her own) as this is not going to happen,” the Communist Party of India leader added.

Mani has, on the assembly floor, spoken on the need for going ahead with the project on the basis of consensus.

Chandy, too, has advocated a consensus on the issue, even when a majority in the Congress, including Ramesh Chennithala and V.M. Sudheeran, feel it is detrimental to nature.

For nearly two decades, the power project has been a bone of contention between politicians of various hues, both within the CPI-M -led Left Democratic Front and the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

Green activists have protested against the project, proposed to be built on the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district, since it requires more than 100 hectares of forest land that is home to tigers, leopards, Great Indian Hornbill, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, and the rare Cochin forest cane turtle.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.