Panjim: Giving yet another deadline for resumption of mining in the State, Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik said the government is expected to find a way out by February 15.
“The government is on it and we still hope to find a solution by February 15 after the Parliament session concludes on February 13,” Naik told reporters on the sidelines of a State government function at Porvorim on Sunday.
He also stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has briefed the union cabinet about the mining crisis in Goa and asserted the need to solve the issue on priority. The cabinet meeting was held hours after the short meeting with a delegation of mining dependents in Delhi on February 6.
“After the delegation of Goa leaders and mining dependents met PM in Delhi, he chaired a cabinet meeting in the evening in which he briefed all about the mining issue. He asked the concerned ministers to come out with a solution,” the union minister said. Naik defended that providing speedy solution for the mining issue is not possible as it does not fall within the purview of the Central government. “It is the SC order which needs to be handled delicately to work out a solution,” he said while giving the fresh deadline for a solution.
Reacting to the statement by Goa Mining People’s Front that they were disappointed on the manner in which BJP has handled the issue, Naik said that these leaders should stop misguiding the people. “You cannot start blaming the people whom you are looking at providing solution,” he lamented while ruling out, to another media question, that the issue will impact BJP’s prospects for upcoming Lok Sabha election. “People of Goa know what we have done for them. We are indebted to the people of Goa who are responsible for the growth of the party. They will surely stand by BJP during Lok Sabha election,” he added.
The mining dependents were not quite happy with the Delhi meeting and BJP National President Amit Shah’s public address on Saturday also did not give any firm assurance to the people affected with mining closure.
On the other issue wherein Shah has directed BJP Goa to tap in 30 per cent of the minority votes for the party during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the AYUSH minister said that the advice is not pertaining to elections alone and it is not specific for Goa.
“The suggestion was not only for the elections but to make the party strong and be in touch with all communities. BJP has to be expanded and everyone should be taken together,” he commented adding, “We have acceptance amongst minorities in Goa. Shah was talking about including all the communities at national level.”
Shah during a closed door meeting with BJP Ministers, MLAs and office bearers on Saturday, gave clear instructions to reach out to each and every minority house to convert their votes for the party, and to also hold meetings with minority religious heads. [H]