Ramdev threatens fast against Goa illegal mining

Last Updated: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 19:18

Panaji: Yoga guru Swami Ramdev on Saturday
extended his support to the fight against illegal mining in
Goa and warned of a hunger strike if the Congress-led
Government in the state did not come clean on the issue.

"We will run a campaign against illegal mining before
elections (due in mid-2012). If required, I would sit for
hunger strike in Goa against those involved in it. Can we
allow these looters to be elected to the Assembly?" he sought
to know while talking to reporters here.

The popular yoga guru is touring the coastal state, where
cases of large-scale illegal mining have come to light, and
addressing a series of public meetings as a part of his `Goa
Bachao Sammelan` (Save Goa Conference).

Several village-level groups have joined the Haridwar-
based yoga teacher in his campaign in Goa.

The main aim of the campaign is to ensure that none of
the politicians involved in illegal mining gets elected to the
Assembly in the forthcoming polls, he maintained.

The Swami squarely blamed Chief Minister Digambar Kamat
for the mining mess.

"That person (Kamat) is holding the (mining) portfolio
for the last 12 years. He is equally responsible for illegal
mining."

Clarifying that his organisation (Bharat Swabhiman Trust)
would not be contesting the elections here, Ramdev said all
political parties would be asked to come clean on the crucial
issues of illegal mining, corruption and ill-gotten wealth,
prior to the polls.

The yoga guru, who has several branches of his outfits
Patanjali Yog and Bharat Swabhiman Trust in the state, said
"peaceful" nature of Goans (Goa residents) has stopped them
from becoming Naxalites considering the pace at which their
land had been diverted for mining activity.

"It will not be wrong if people stand in protest against
illegal mining," Swami Ramdev said, adding iron ore exports to
a "hostile" country like China should be banned.

The yoga guru claimed that a large part of ill-gotten
money parked in overseas banks from Goa has been generated
from illegal mining, and land and drugs-related activities.

Lobbying for more share of taxes for Goa, Swami Ramdev
said the Centre should pump back at least 50 per cent of the
money collected as royalty to the state.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 19:18

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