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Mining dependents protest outside homes of BJP MPs in Goa

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

People dependent on Goa's mining industry held demonstrations outside the residences of two BJP parliamentarians in the state on Thursday over their demand for resumption of iron ore extraction operations.

In a bid mount pressure on the government to resolve their woes, the mining dependents said they would hold protests outside the public functions where the three BJP MPs from Goa would participate.

The mining dependents, under the banner of Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF), staged demonstrations outside the private residences of Rajya Sabha member Vinay Tendulkar and Lok Sabha MP Narendra Sawaikar in Ponda town, about 30 km from here.

Union AYUSHMinister Shripad Naik is also a Lok Sabha member from Goa.

The protesters said the parliamentarians from the state had been unable to convince the Centre to amend the existing mining laws which will help in resuming the industry.

"Our demand is clear. We want all the three MPs to resign in support of our cause as they have failed to bring relief to the ailing mining industry," GMPF president Puti Gaonkar told reporters at Ponda.

The mining dependents have also planned to block the national highway connecting Goa to Karnataka at Keri in North Goa district on January 21 over their demands.

When contacted, Tendulkar said the demonstration outside his house in Goa were unwarranted.

"I didn't knew that the mining dependents were coming to meet me. I am in Delhi to attend Parliament session. If they had informed me, I would have deputed one of my representatives to speak to them at my home," he said.

Tendulkar, who is also the head of BJP's Goa unit, said he will be seeking an appointment with party president Amit Shah to raise the issue.

"We are working on all possible solutions for the resumption of mining industry. We are hopeful that the crisis would be resolved soon," he added.

The mining operations, a key source of revenue to the government, came to a standstill in March last year following a Supreme Court order which quashed 88 mining leases.

The BJP-led state government has requested the Centre to amend the existing mining laws during the ongoing session of Parliament so that leases get extended.

The GMPF, an umbrella group of mining dependents - whose livelihood has been affected - had recently staged three-day protests in New Delhi demanding resumption of mining activities in the state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 16:35 IST