Expect solution to mining issue by February 15, says Shripad Naik


Panaji, Feb 11 (TOI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already instructed the ministers concerned from his Cabinet to come out with a solution to Goa’s mining issue and we are optimistic of a solution to the mining issue coming by February 15, said Union minister for Ayush Shripad Naik on Sunday.

“Even Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) had a meeting with the PM, but they gave a different picture of it over here. PM heard them out, heard us out. We explained the entire issue to the PM. On the same day, we had a Cabinet meeting. During the meeting, the PM told the ministers concerned to work out a solution... The Parliament will be working till February 13. We hope that a solution will come by February 15,” Naik told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Porvorim.

He said the governments at the state and Centre continue to work to find a solution for Goa’s mining issue, irrespective or unconcerned with the deadline of February 13 set by the GMPF, an umbrella organisation of mining dependants.

“You cannot say we want the solution right now. The issue is not in any one person’s hands. The issue being under the Supreme Court, it has to be dealt with accordingly. The GMPF should stop misguiding people as they are doing presently. You cannot make accusations at those who are working out a solution. Whatever we are working for, we are doing it as our duty, not because of the pressure tactics of the GMPF. And we will make sure a solution is brought,” the Union minister said.

He said, the GMPF can carry on with the protest, while reacting to the GMPF threat that they will work against BJP at the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“Our concern is that noone should be deprived of a livelihood. People are aware of everything. We are grateful to the people of Goa. I am forever indebted to them for having elected me for four terms. People are wise enough to draw their own conclusion,” said Naik.

He said the state government and leaders from Goa have done everything in their capacity to sensitise leaders at the Centre about the mining issue in Goa.

“There is a Supreme Court order related to mining and that is why we need to tread careful with whatever steps we are taking. GMPF or whoever wanted appointments, we have done it for them with Amit Shah. They said we have not given them an appointment with the Prime Minister. That also we have got it done. The solutions are to be drawn by the Goa government, the chief minister and the central government and we have continued our efforts to sensitise these authorities to the issue,” said Naik.

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