Mining dependents, ramponnkars reject Modi’s ‘false assurances’

Herald Goa | April 12, 2019
PANJIM: In a major embarrassment to the BJP, the mining dependents and  ramponnkars in Goa, rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll promises as ‘lies and false assurances’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
While the mining dependents said that the statements were such political assurances, the fishermen dismissed them and called the Prime Minister a liar.
Goa Mining People’s Front President, Puti Gaonkar said, “These are political assurances keeping in mind the elections. It all depends on what they file in Supreme Court (referring to the abolition matter, which is challenged by mining companies). Next week we will come to know whether he is serious or not.”

On the other hand, Goenchea Ramponnkarancho Ekvott (GRE) General Secretary, Olencio Simoes said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a good actor and a liar, as none of the points, which he spoke about during the public meeting, are reflected on the manifesto. His manifesto speaks of blue economy and increasing the livelihood of fishermen by encouraging pearl farming, sea weed farming and such anti-marine life form of farming, which none of the fishermen are involved in. This is going to be only corporate farming.”
Slamming the Prime Minister, Olencio said  the manifesto clearly talks about Bharatmala and Sagarmala. He informed that under Bharatmala, the BJP is talking about building 65000 kms of roads whereby coastal areas will be connected to hinterland. And under Sagarmala the party’s manifesto talks about enhancing and doubling the port capacity and enhancing coastal transportation and coastal industrialisation.
“We want to ask PM Modi, if coastal industrialisation will benefit the fishermen or communities living on the coastline or it will eliminate these people. He is fooling the people”, Olencio stated.
He added that GRE had given the list of demands to Meenakshi Lekhi who was in-charge of preparing the manifesto where the organisation has mentioned that they are against Sagarmala, Bharatmala, river nationalisation, dilution of CRZ and others issues.  “But none of these issues reflect in the BJP’s manifesto. On the contrary the manifesto is talking about completely eliminating us. Not just from water but also from land. Therefore Modi’s statements are immaterial and we have made it clear to the governments that there is still time to come clear and include our issues in your manifesto”, Olencio stated.
He warned that until the BJP promises to meet the fishermen’s demands, they will work against the party. “In 2014 we supported the BJP openly and during these elections we will come out openly against you them and support the party which promises that all our issues will be resolved”, he added.
On Wednesday, while addressing a rally in Goa, Modi had assured that he will not leave any stone unturned to solve the mining issue. “Definitely we will make all efforts to remove the hindrances in re-starting mining in Goa”, he had stated. Modi had also said that his government already announced in the budget a separate department for fishing and to issue fisherman credit card in line with the kisan credit card.