PM was not properly briefed about mining issue by BJP: Puti Gaonkar

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It is exactly a year back that Supreme Court gave historic order quashing 88 mining leases. The order, which was actually implemented from March 16, had severe affect on the people dependent on this industry. Goa Mining People’s Front has been fighting day in and out to ensure that the mining resumes. We spoke to GMPF President Puti Gaonkar.

Q. One year after the SC order on mining, are you happy with government’s efforts?

A. I am not happy at all. BJP has not done anything concrete to solve the problem. People are being fooled. I felt that even Prime Minister was not legally briefed about Goa’s side. That is why this is happening.

Q. Do you foresee that solution will be found out in the days to come for the crisis?

A. There will be solution or not,  I can’t say anything. But BJP want to retain its government then they will have to find out the solution.

Q. What deadline do you set for the crisis to be resolved?

A: They have said that February 13 is a deadline. We are also sticking to that deadline.  After February 13 our agitation will continue, it will not be withdrawn.

Q. What would be your stand for next election?

A. We have already said that Goa Mining People’s Front will campaign against the official candidate of BJP in Lok Sabha and also during by-elections in Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies.

Q. Does that mean you will support Congress candidates?

A. Not really. We will tell people whom not to vote. Let people decide whom to vote.

Q. Do you think congress will be able to provide solution for mining crisis?

A. The mining would have started, if Congress was in power. State government can start mining even now. Without doing anything by just interpreting the Supreme Court judgment they can start mining.

Q. State government say it is a legal tangle

A. If there is a legal thing then there  is a judgment in 1998 in which section 22-A Goa Abolition act says leases should be not be given in retrospective but perspective effect. That can be sent to used to resume mining.

Q. What is the situation of mining dependents?

A. I have decided to move legally to the Supreme Court to get the respite on behalf of mining dependents. To get the mining leases perspective as per the original decision of Bombay high court given in the year 1997 which is still pending in the SC.

Q. What is the situation of mining dependents?

A. The situation of mining dependents is going from bad to worst. Banks have started attaching the properties including homes. Auctioning gold and other assets even mangasutra. The anger is clearly against BJP.

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