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awaiting the light of day: Mining dependants gathered at the Azad Maidan in Panaji on Friday. They later held a candlelight march in the city

GMPF demands resignations of MLAs from mining belt



Stating that BJP leaders had promised to either resolve the Goa mining issue or quit their posts, Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) president Puti Gaonkar Friday demanded the resignations of MLAs from the mining belt for making empty promises to the mining dependents during a large gathering of mining stakeholders at Azad Maidan in Panaji some months back.

Goa Mining People’s Front is an umbrella organisation of the mining dependants.

Gaonkar said that BJP leaders had promised the mining dependants that if they failed to fulfil their assurance on resumption of mining activity in the state, they would join the mining dependants. “So now they can resign from their posts before the BJP national president Amit Shah, who is visiting the state tomorrow,” he said.

Gaonkar was addressing a crowd of over 1,000 mining dependants, who assembled at the Azad Maidan in the city on Friday. The mining dependants later held a candlelight march from the Azad Maidan to Kala Academy. The march was organised under the banner of GMPF to mark the completion of one year of the Supreme Court verdict, which led to the closure of all mining activity in the state. The forum has sought resumption of mining on an urgent basis.

The GMPF president said that the forum will meet on February 14 at Tisk Usgaon to decide on the future course of action.

He said that when the forum members met Shah, he told them that a plan to resolve mining issue had been chalked out and both MPs had been assigned the job on how to go about it. “However, till date, they have failed to do the homework,” he said. He also said that Shah had told them that old mining leases would function as per old rule while 10 per cent of fresh leases will function as per new rules; full-fledged mining will not commence. Gaonkar also said that even the Prime Minister has promised to look into the matter but has not given any concrete assurance.

Convenor of Goa Suraksha Manch Subhash Velingkar also spoke on the occasion, while president of Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Pratima Coutinho and general secretary of Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Netta D’Souza took part in the candlelight march.

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