Goa elections: AAP will ensure resumption of mining in first 6 months if voted to power, says Kejriwal



PANAJI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the stalled mining operations in Goa will be resumed within six months if his party is voted to power in the next year’s Assembly elections.

Kejriwal also said AAP will hand over the land rights to tribals within six months of forming the government.

The Delhi chief minister toured Valpoi, Poriem and Sankhalim Assembly constituencies on Monday.

Sankhalim seat is represented by Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Pramod Sawant.

Kejriwal said special legislation will be brought by the AAP government prioritising jobs for the people dependent on mining in the mining industry once it resumes.

Land rights for tribals and resumption of the mining industry are emerging as two major issues ahead of the elections in Goa, due in February next year.

The AAP has already announced a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 for every mining dependent family till the industry resumes.

“I have come here to understand how we can resume the mining industry. Also, I want to know how you all have survived for the last 10 years since the closure of the mining industry,” Kejriwal said interacting with the mining dependents at Pale village in the Sankhalim constituency.

The iron ore mining in Goa came to a halt in 2012 but resumed for a short time before shutting down again in 2018 after the apex court quashed 88 mining leases.

After interacting with the mining dependents, Kejriwal said the AAP would ensure that employment in the mining industry would be given on priority to those who are dependent on this sector.

“If AAP is elected to power, our government will ensure that mining will resume within six months, and till then, every dependent family would be provided a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000,” said Kejriwal, who arrived in the coastal state on Sunday on a two-day visit.

During his previous visit to Goa, Kejriwal had promised free pilgrimage to various religious centres, including Ayodhya, if his party is voted to power in the state.

On Sunday, Kejriwal had said that he visits temples because he is a Hindu and no one should have objections.

Earlier, he had promised that AAP would provide 300 units of electricity free per family per month in Goa and an uninterrupted power supply.

In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the AAP had drawn a blank.

The Congress had then won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House in Goa restricting the BJP to 13.

However, the BJP allied with regional parties and came to power under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar, now deceased.

Congress had accused the BJP of “stealing the mandate”.

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