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GMPF team to meet Shah tomorrow over mining tangle

PANAJI: A meeting between Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah and a delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella organisation of mining dependants, is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on January 13 to discuss a solution to the mining issue of Goa.

Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and North Goa MP Shripad Naik said the meeting of GMPF members with Shah has been arranged in the national capital so as to resolve the mining issue.

The meeting will also be attended by Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu. The GMPF will be represented by four members.

The mining industry in Goa came to a standstill in March last year after the Supreme Court quashed 88 leases and prohibited extraction of fresh iron ore.

Goa Mining People’s Front president Puti Gaonkar said that Prabhu has arranged for the meeting with Shah on January 13 in the national capital. “Besides Prabhu, Shripad Naik will be accompanying the GMPF delegation during the meeting with Shah,” he said.

Gaonkar said that Shah’s intervention would be sought to ensure that the central government expeditiously amends mining laws to allow the sector to restart in Goa. He also said that the delegation will seek an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the mining issue during the January 13 meeting.

It may be recalled that the mining dependants had Thursday demanded resignations of the three BJP MPs namely Shripad Naik, Narendra Sawaikar and Vinay Tendulkar for failing to bring a Bill to amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 during the recently concluded winter session of the Parliament.

A day after the mining dependants became aggressive and hit out at the BJP-led central government and the party’s MPs from Goa, the meeting between GMPF and BJP national president has been arranged on January 13.

The GMPF had organised an agitation in New Delhi from December 11 to 13 demanding a Bill to amend the MMDR Act for resumption of mining in Goa. However, the BJP’s central leadership had failed to visit them during the protest.

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