Goa Congress likens illegal mining to ‘murder on the street’

Panaji, Jan 23 (IANS) The Congress in Goa Monday compared the mega illegal mining scam to “a murder on the street”, but claimed the Congress-led coalition government was not directly responsible for the menace in Goa.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji Monday, Congress spokesperson Ramakant Khalap said the party’s opposition to illegal mining would be reflected in its election manifesto, which was in the making.
“The Congress is against illegal mining. If a man is murdered on the street, the moral responsibility lies with the government, but it is not that the government is doing it,” said Khalap, a former union minister of state for law.
“The manifesto which we are in the process of preparing will mention our commitment to sustainable mining and opposing illegal mining. Mining will be limited to mining leases,” Khalap said.
The Congress-led coalition government of chief minister Digambar Kamat has come under severe criticism over the issue of illegal mining here, with civil society groups as well as the opposition BJP alleging a massive mining scam and the involvement of several cabinet ministers in it.
Senior BJP leaders have directly accused Kamat in the Rs.25,000 crore illegal mining scam, which is already being probed by a judicial commission led by Justice M.B. Shah, which is also investigating illegal mining in other parts of the country.