Scores of dependants take to streets for early resumption of mining

NT NETWORK

PANAJI
In order to push for immediate resumption of mining activities in the state, mining dependants on Friday met leaders of various political parties in city.
Over thousand mining dependants under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) gathered at the Azad Maidan in Panaji and later marched to the Congress party office and also headed to meet Goa Forward Party leaders in the city.
Speaking to media persons, GMPF leader Puti Gaonkar said that they will stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on first three days of the winter session of Parliament in order to pressurise the central government to bring in the amendments to the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) or MMDR Act.
“All political parties have extended their support to us and have clearly said that they would support the amendments in the Parliament… now it the BJP who has to decide on the mining issue,” he said.
“Whether the government is interested in resolving the mining crisis is not our concern… we are putting pressure on it and if it wants to save the lives of 3 lakh dependents they ought to do it,” he added.
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar has assured the mining dependents to write a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha urging her to convene a one-day special Assembly session to discuss the mining issue.
Kavlekar said that he would speak to BJP president Vinay Tendulkar to fix an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi prior to the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament.
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat said that All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi has assured that Congress will support the amendment to the MMDR Act in the Parliament.
Later in the day, the mining dependents met Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai and asked him to withdraw support to the BJP-led government if they are unable to resolve the mining issue by December 15.
He said that if he withdraws support from the government then a new batch of MLAs from Congress will switch over and BJP will continue to rule in the state.
“Will mining resume, if we resign? The issue is about resumption of mining. The onus of resuming the mining activity is on BJP because it is ruling at the Centre as well as in the state,” Sardesai said.
Commenting on the Supreme Court order that cancelled the second renewal of 88 mining leases by the state government, Sardesai said that ‘at times Supreme Court also makes mistake.’
He said that the North Goa MP Shripad Naik who is also a cabinet minister in the Modi-led government is the right person to pursue the matter with Centre.
“Fortunately for Goa, we have a minister who is a member of Union cabinet. According to me, this is a matter of interdepartmental issue… Naik himself is aware what would be the impact on his election prospects if these things are not settled,” he said.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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