Mining will resume in Goa after Congress is voted to power: Rahul Gandhi

Panaji: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said sustainable iron ore mining in Goa would resume once his party is voted to power at the Centre after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Iron ore extraction and transportation came to a standstill in Goa in March last year following a Supreme Court order that quashed 88 mining leases. “The closure of mining has affected lakhs of people. We have decided that the Congress party will start sustainable mining in Goa once it is voted to power after the 2019 elections,” Gandhi said.

He was addressing “Jeet Ki Aur”, a booth-level convention of Congress workers organised near here ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The people dependent on mining are demanding that existing laws be amended to give a new lease of life to the industry, a key source of revenue for the government. Gandhi said tourism in Goa was adversely affected after the 2016 demonetisation of high-value currencies.

“Now Modiji is busy making Goa a coal centre to help his crony capitalists,” he said. “Employment has disappeared from Goa, tourism, too, has disappeared,” the Congress chief said. Describing Congress booth-level workers as the backbone of the organisation, Gandhi said there is no dearth of issues for them to raise among voters while campaigning for the upcoming elections. “You will have to take these issues to every household,” he said.