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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Goa: Mining front leader joins AAP, says will contest against CM in Sanquelim

After calling Kejriwal 'copy master' over tirth yatra scheme, Sawant announces new 'Dev Darshan' scheme

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: November 6, 2021 3:39:25 am
Puti Gaonkar had recently announced the Goa State Navnirman Aghadi Forum aimed at taking on the BJP in the upcoming state elections.

Goa Mining People’s Front convener Puti Gaonkar on Friday announced that he will be contesting the upcoming election on an AAP ticket in the Sanquelim assembly constituency held by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. He said his aim is to resume mining in the state and resolving all the land ownership issues.

Gaonkar had recently announced the Goa State Navnirman Aghadi Forum aimed at taking on the BJP in the upcoming state elections. Gaonkar said, “The BJP has not been able to start mining in the last 12 years. BJP is not starting mining to protect its own interests. The government is reluctant to help those whose homes were destroyed in the flood. Mining dependents, gadawalas, shopkeepers, farmers are in trouble due to the closure of mining. Corporation has been started to resume mining. But, the corporation needs a professional. If given a chance I will solve this issue within six months”, he said.

Gaonkar said “Goans need an alternative and in my belief AAP is the alternative. I had a discussion with Kejriwal on the mining issue and he had assured me that he will visit Goa to study the matter and will plan accordingly. I have filed an intervention application on the matter for early hearing and Kejriwal’s legal team will monitor the legal work”.

On his visit to Goa earlier this week, Kejriwal had announced free pilgrimage for people from the state depending on their faiths, if AAP is voted to power in the Assembly polls scheduled for 2022. He said that free pilgrimage tours of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu, Ajmer Sherif in Rajasthan and Shirdi in Maharashtra would be arranged by the state government in Goa if people voted his party to power. Such a scheme, he said, was already implemented in Delhi.

A day later Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant had called Kejriwal a “copy master” and said that he had announced a pilgrimage scheme in his budget speech in March this year and registration for the scheme had already begun. “He is a copy master. He has made it a habit,” Sawant had said about Kejriwal.

On Friday, however, Sawant announced a ‘Dev Darshan’ scheme for Goans turning 60, in the 60th year of the state’s liberation. The state government will start a scheme under which senior citizens will be able to visit the famous temples of Goa in a bus, the tour will be conducted by the government from December 1 to December 19, under the scheme.

“Many of us haven’t seen the temples in our state. It is 60 years of liberation this year and for senior citizens, Goa darshan is very important. We will start a dev darshan scheme to visit all our famous temples through the social welfare department. This will also give us the opportunity to see Goa’s culture,” Sawant said in Mapusa on Friday.

“We already have a tirth yatra scheme but amid Covid people have a lot of concerns about traveling outside the state,” he added. He said that those born in the year of Goa’s liberation and those who contributed to the state’s liberation in any way, should be able to avail this scheme and visit the temples in Goa.

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