Panaji: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has launched a political campaign against illegal mining in Goa, has said that henceforth it would accept donations from mining companies only after verifying if its operations were legal.
"There is no ban on taking legal donations from anyone. But now henceforth, we will verify whether the mining companies are doing legal mining before accepting any donations," BJP spokesperson Rajendra Arlekar said on Friday.
State Congress president Subhash Shirodkar was, however, non-committal to queries about the issue, claiming a decision on the matter should be taken, both at the state as well as by the party`s central leaders.
Sesa Goa Pvt Ltd, Goa`s biggest ore producers and exporters, paid Rs 85 lakh to the BJP, while the ruling Congress got Rs 30 lakh in financial year 2009-10. Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party got Rs 2 lakh while Shiv Sena got Rs 1 lakh.
In 2007-08, the mining company paid Rs 28 lakh each to the two national parties, in a year which saw the Vedanta Resources-owned company get a green signal to enhance iron ore production from four million tonnes to seven million tonnes from its three sites in Goa.
Sesa Goa on Friday, in a statement, said that political donation was a "common practice" and was done in accordance with legal provisions.
"It is a common practice among parties to approach business houses for donations," it said, adding the donations were made only after parties made requests to the mining firm, the biggest in operation in Goa.
When Subhash Shirodkar was asked if the Congress was willing to put a temporary halt to donations, in light of the alleged Rs 25,000 crores mining scandal, Shirodkar said: "For this answer, we will have to wait for some time."