Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured a delegation of lawmakers and representatives of the Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) that the Central government will try to find a solution to the mining impasse in the state within the “four corners of the law”.
The delegation met Modi at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar said. No time-frame for finding the solution has been given, he said.
During the 10-minute meeting with the Goa delegation, Modi “expressed his concern” over the impasse, which occurred after the Supreme Court banned mining in the coastal state in February last year, said Sawaikar, who is also the spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Goa unit.
“The Prime Minister said a solution will be found within the four corners of the law, since the situation has arisen out of the apex court’s judgement,” he said.
Apart from Sawaikar, the delegation included Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik, state BJP President and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar and GMPF President Puti Gaonkar among others.
The mining ban issue has been hanging fire ever since the Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases in February last year. The apex court also directed the state government to re-issue mining leases.
The GMPF was lobbying for the resumption of mining for the last few weeks and had stepped up its agitation by pressurising the BJP lawmakers for an appointment with the Prime Minister and press for a resolution to the crisis.
Goa’s mining belt straddles across several Assembly constituencies and support from the voters from these areas is key to electoral success in the coming Lok Sabha election.
During a video interaction with the party workers in Goa last month, Modi had assured that the Central government was looking for a “judicial solution” to the mining impasse.