Won’t support BJP if mining crisis not resolved: Goa party

Panaji : Goa Forward, an alliance partner in the BJP-led coalition government, on Thursday warned of rethinking its decision to support the state government if it does not resolve the mining imbroglio at the earliest.

“If the BJP does not resume mining in Goa at the earliest, they will have trouble in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. I request them to resolve this crisis at the earliest… If they do not do so, we will rethink of our support,” Goa Forward President and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai said here.

Goa Forward, which has three MLAs in the 40 members in the Legislative Assembly, is also a part of the National Democratic Alliance.

“One would have thought that after the debacle in Karnataka, the BJP would have acted quickly to solve the mining issue, but no steps are being taken towards that end, despite the fact that the the party is in power in Goa and at the Centre,” Sardesai said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party currently has 14 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly and is currently occupying the treasury benches with the help of three MLAs each from Goa Forward and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independent MLAs.

On March 15, the Supreme Court banned all mining activity, including transportation of iron ore, from Goa’s 88 mining leases and directed the state government to re-issue the mining leases.

Mining was first banned in 2012 following a series of bans by the state government, central government and the Supreme Court following the revelation of a Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining ban unearthed by a judicial commission.