Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, reconfirming that mining leases in Goa must be auctioned through competitive bidding.
Questioning the Govt’s repeated attempts to renew the existing mining leases, State Convenor Rahul Mhambre slammed the Sawant government for making the state’s economy and the mining dependents suffer for years, despite suffering multiple setbacks in the Supreme Court.
“Instead of following competitive bidding in the auction of mining leases, CM Sawant is doing the bidding of his bosses in the mining lobby. It has been almost a decade that mining dependents and the state’s economy have suffered due to the BJP Govt’s greed and incompetence,” he said.
Mayem AAP leader Upendra Gaonkar said this suffering could have been avoided had the BJP put Goa first, and restarted mining activities under a Goa Mineral Development Corporation years ago.
Gaonkar recalled that AAP had made this specific promise in its 2017 election manifesto, and opined that Goa’s economy would have been in much better condition if that had been done.
“Even now, after the GMDC bill has been passed by the Assembly, Sawant bab is avoiding the next steps. Why isn’t he following up with the Hon. Governor regarding the status of the bill? Even AAP met the Governor and requested him to give speedy assent to the bill, but it appears that BJP is happy to allow the bill to languish in the Raj Bhavan. It is obvious the BJP only want to use the bill as a jumla before elections to get votes, but does not actually want to restart mining under the Act and displease certain lobbies”, Gaonkar charged.
Sanguem AAP leader Gourisha Gaonkar said the Supreme Court has completely exposed the Sawant Govt in its observation that “If the state follows the transparent procedure, it will ensure the best revenue and the best realisation in the interest of the state”.
“The Supreme Court itself has accused the Goa Govt of subverting the due process of law, and hurting the Govt’s revenue and the state’s economy. Despite this slap in the face, the BJP Govt continues to pander to vested interests”, Gaonkar said.
Gourisha Gaonkar said the AAP has already started engaging with the mining dependent Goenkars, and said the party will run a campaign specifically for the mining belt constituencies to expose the ulterior motives of the BJP Govt and it’s betrayal of the people on the mining issue.