Goa mining dependents say not supporting any political party in Lok Sabha elections or assembly bypolls

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Published: April 19, 2019 1:33:09 PM

GMPF president Puti Gaonkar told PTI that the outfit is not supporting any political party in the state in the Lok Sabha elections or assembly bypolls.

An estimated two lakh people have been adversely affected by the closure of mining operations in the state.

An outfit of mining dependents in Goa, affected by closure of iron ore mining operations, has said it is not supporting any political party and people are free to vote “as per their conscience”. The Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella organisation of people rendered jobless following the closure of the key industry, has said voters should review the incidents which took place after iron ore extraction and transportation were stopped and then decide on their choice.

GMPF president Puti Gaonkar told PTI that the outfit is not supporting any political party in the state in the Lok Sabha elections or assembly bypolls. “We are not asking the people whom to vote or whom not to. Let them decide as per their conscience,” he said.

“But while doing that, they should also consider the events that happened after the closure of the mining industry in March last year. They should vote as per their wisdom,” he said. In the past, the GMPF, which is spreading an agitation to demand resumption of mining operations, has expressed its anguish over BJP MPs from Goa not addressing their issues.

The organisation has been demanding that the Centre bring amendment in the existing mining laws to resume operations in the industry, a key source of livelihood as well as revenue for the state government. The Supreme Court had last year quashed 88 mining leases, bringing to a halt the entire industry. An estimated two lakh people have been adversely affected by the closure of mining operations in the state. Voting for the two Lok Sabha constituencies in Goa will be held on April 23. The same day will also see bypolls in three Assembly constituencies.

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