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BJP's Goa Partner Threatens to Pull Support for 2019 Over Mining Crisis

The mining operations in the state have come to a halt from March 16 after the SC quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies.


Updated:May 24, 2018, 5:48 PM IST
BJP's Goa Partner Threatens to Pull Support for 2019 Over Mining Crisis
Representative image.

Panaji: The Goa Forward Party (GFP), a constituent of the BJP-led Goa government, on Thursday said it will not support the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha elections if it fails to resolve the ongoing mining crisis in the state. The GFP said the BJP will land in "trouble" if the mining activities don't resume immediately.

The mining operations in the state have come to a halt from March 16 after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies.

GFP president Vijai Sardesai, while addressing a press conference here, credited his party for the stability of the Manohar Parrikar-led government in the state. He said the BJP, which is also in power in the Centre, should immediately work out a solution for the mining crisis, which has hit the people dependent on the industry.

"We won't support the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections if they fail to resolve the mining crisis...We need to think about the future of Goa and the people. We are fully committed towards the people who are affected by the closure of the mining industry," Sardesai said.

He said since the BJP is in power in the state and the Centre, it is in a better position to find a solution by passing an ordinance in the Parliament for resumption of the mining activities in the state.

"If mining activities don't resume in the state immediately, then the BJP will be in a problem during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections," he said.

"My demand with the BJP leaders is that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible. The court judgement on mining has affected the lives of the people," he said.

"We are part of the NDA and we had said that we will be with the BJP. But if this issue of mining is not resolved, then we will have to rethink about our stand," he said.

Sardesai said he was anticipating that after the Karnataka polls, some steps will be taken to end the mining crisis. He said he had also made his views clear on the issue to state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar.

"I have spoken to Vinay Tendulkar and told him that you all will be in trouble if you don't resume mining. If you don't want to face such kind of a situation then fix the mining crisis immediately," he added.

The minister said that he favours ordinance to resume mining and does not favour auctioning as a mode to distribute the leases.

"I am speaking about ordinance, because there is a difference between the mining issue of Goa and the rest of the country. We want that the locals should get justice. Mining should be for the sake of locals. We want that mining should not be stopped," he said.

Sardesai said the ban imposed by the SC is an injustice on the people of Goa and the state government should take a clear stand on it.

He said that that the Parrikar-led government in Goa is stable only because of the GFP.

"We know how to respect the alliance dharma. BJP should concentrate on the Lok Sabha elections. We will 'mostly not field our candidate'. I am saying 'mostly', because we have made our stand clear that we will not support them if the mining issue is not resolved," he added.

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