Ponda: Hundreds of mining dependents protested in front of the houses of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar and South Goa MP Adv Narendra Savoikar, on Thursday, demanding resumption of iron ore extraction.
Alleging that the two MPs are incapable of resolving the mining issue, the protesters demanded the resignation of Tendulkar and Sawaikar for failure to commence mining in Goa.
The protesters also threatened to block Belgaum-Sanquelim-Keri Highway on January 21, if Prime Minister Narendra Modi fails to give them an appointment by then.
Goa Mining People Front (GMPF) leader Puti Gaonkar said, “We will wait till January 16 for PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar to get an appointment with Modi. If no appointment is given, then we will block the Belgaum-Sanquelim-Keri Highway on January 21 in protest against government failure in finding solution on mining.”
Since the Anmod-Belgaum-Goa highway is closed for road widening, the mining dependents have decided to block Sanquelim-Belgaum Highway at Keri.
Earlier in the day, Gaonkar led a huge morcha of mining dependents from Ponda city to the residence Tendulkar. This is the second time since November 2018, the mining dependents have taken out a morch on the house of Tendulkar.
However, since Tendulkar was in Delhi, the mining dependents marched to the residence of Savoikar at Khadpabandh in Ponda. However, since even Sawaikar was in Delhi, the mining dependents staged a dharna in front of his residence.
Addressing the media, Gaonkar said that since all the three Goa MPs failed to solve the mining issue, they should resign.
“It appears that Tendulkar and Sawaikar avoided meeting us. At least they should have sent their representative or a ruling MLA to meet the protesting mining dependents and hear their grievance,” Gaonkar said.
“Today, we came to ask Tendulkar as to what happened to his promise made in November that he would find a solution for mining issue within fifteen days,” Gaonkar said.
Meanwhile, Sawaikar told Herald said he was surprised and saddened by the allegations of mining dependents that he and Tendulkar avoided meeting them.
“Everyone knows that since December 11, Tendulkar and I are in Delhi due to Parliament in session,” he said.
“The MPs are in Delhi as the Parliament was in session. And mining dependents are aware of this and yet they took out a morcha in our absence. We are not afraid to face them; and even on earlier occasions, we had faced them,” Savoikar ssaid. [H]