The ruling BJP has said closure of the mining sector in Goa will not have a negative impact on its chances in the Lok Sabha polls or bypolls in three Assembly seats.
Mining came to a standstill in March last year after the Supreme Court quashed 88 leases and banned extraction of iron ore.
Activists and groups fighting for its resumption claim almost two lakh people dependent on the industry are now jobless.
The BJP has already announced the candidature of sitting MPs Shripad Naik and Narendra Sawaikar for North Goa and South Goa Lok Sabha seats respectively.
Campaigning in Priol on Thursday, Naik said, “We could not find a solution to the mining issue because it also involves the Supreme Court. But once we come back to power, the issue will be given priority.” Claiming that the issue won”t affect the BJP in the polls, he said, “People are aware that our party has been trying to solve the issue. We are committed to finding a solution to the impasse.” BJP MLA and state Power minister Nilesh Cabral, who represents Curchorem Assembly constituency, part of the mining belt, also said the issue would not affect the ruling party.
“People will vote for the development which we have brought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he claimed.
The BJP”s South Goa candidate and sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar said his party was getting good response from the voters in the mining belt.
The Goa Mining People”s Front (GMPF), an umbrella body of mining dependents, said it would campaign against BJP candidates for their failure to solve the issue, its president Puty Goankar told PTI.
Elections for Goa”s two Lok Sabha seats, with 11.31 lakh voters, and bypolls for three Assembly seats will be held on April 23.