Illegal mining in Sattari to top BJP agendas in Goa bypolls

Goa BJP today said rampant illegal mining in state`s Sattari taluka will be amongst party`s prime issues in Valpoi by-elections scheduled next month.

Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 19:11 PM IST

Panaji: Goa BJP today said rampant illegal
mining in state`s Sattari taluka will be amongst party`s prime
issues in Valpoi by-elections scheduled next month.

State President Laxmikant Parsenkar blamed the sitting
legislator and Congress candidate Vishwajit Rane for illegal
mining activity in this taluka, which is robbing the
constituency of its greenery.

"We will expose the illegal mining in Sattari and seek
votes to save the region from being deforested," Parsenkar
said.

BJP today announced Santosh Haldankar as its candidate
for Valpoi by-elections, to be held on October 16.

The constituency located in Sattari taluka in the North
East of Goa has 17,500 voters, most of them farmers.

The by-elections were necessitated after sitting
legislator Rane, elected as an independent candidate, resigned
and joined Congress to evade anti-defection law.

Talking to media for the first time after being nominated
as the candidate, Haldankar held illegal mining and renewing
of old mining leases as the reasons that ruined constituency.

"Rane is actively involved in this activity along with
some other state ministers," Haldankar, a businessman by
profession, said here.

He said Rane`s plans would devastate constituency, which
has Mhadei wildlife sanctuary as a part of it.

Rane, son of Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Pratapsingh
Rane, had won 2007 Assembly elections defeating BJP`s sitting
legislator Narahari Haldankar.

Rane, who became health minister in Digamber Kamat
cabinet, switched to Congress last month.

PTI