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Time for candidate swapping at Shiroda, Mahadev inches closer to Congress

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Shiroda by-election will get spicy with Mahadev Naik hobnobbing with Congress.

RUPESH SAMANT

GOA (Shiroda) In what seems to be Congress trying to import candidate from rival party, former BJP minister Mahadev Naik has said that he is willing to contest on Rahul Gandhi led party’s ticket from Shiroda Assembly Constituency for upcoming by-election.

Naik hinted that he is already in touch with the Congress High Command is one amongst the shortlisted candidates for the by-poll that is necessitated after then MLA Subhash Shirodkar switched over his loyalty to BJP.

“BJP has already decided their candidate by inducting Shirodkar in the party. My aim is to defeat Shirodkar. The people have told me that I can do it by contesting on Congress ticket,” said Naik, a former Industries minister in Laxmikant Parsekar-led cabinet.

He recalled that he had 18-year-long stint in Congress between 1994-2002 before contesting election on BJP ticket in the year 2007.

Naik said that “some people have done survey in Shiroda constituency, finding of which is that, if I contest on Congress ticket, I will surely win.”

The former minister said that he is not interested in contesting as an Independent. “If I contest, it would  be only on Congress ticket,” he said.

Congress party has kept their cards to chest with no formal announcement on candidates being made.

Shiroda constituency already has woman leader Diya Shetkar making her presence in the constituency while another leader Hemant Samant has been promoted to Goa Pradesh Congress Committee.

The party had successfully held meetings in the constituency reviving its unit after Shirodkar’s exit. Prominent social worker Sunil Sawakar has been elected as the Block President, who is making rounds of the constituency.

In the banner war that was witnessed during the New Year, Congress’ fort was held by Diya Shetkar who had painted red the entire constituency along side Shirodkar of BJP and Abhay Prabhu of MGP.

The constituency is expected to witness tri corner fight with MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar hitting the ground and announcing his candidature from the party.

Dhavalikar has said that he is a serious candidate in the fray and would be contesting the by-election, despite his party having alliance with BJP in the State.

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Spotlight Today

People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai

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Team Spotlight

GOA: BJP ally  Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Monday said that the people will “react during Lok Sabha elections”, if BJP fails to resolve the impending crisis on the mining industry.

GFP President and State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai also equated the current mining issue to the “regional aspirations”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi says  ek bharat, shreshta bharat. His statement is with regional aspirations in mind. If any party is not able to meet regional aspirations then we will not be able to get support of the people,” the minister said talking to reporters in Margao town of South Goa on Monday.

“Even the PM says so (about regional aspirations). So what is regional aspirations? Mining is the backbone of economy. It should start,” he added.

 “If mining crisis is not solved before Lok Sabha election, then people will react towards the BJP candidates,” he said.

Sardesai said that no amount of fire fighting by parties like GFP to support BJP candidate during Lok Sabha polls will work.

“Whatever statements we might make, the people will react during Lok Sabha election. How will you get the votes, if you don’t work to solve the issues of the people?,” he questioned.

Around two lakh mining dependents under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front are agitating demanding resumption of the industry which has been shut down since last year due to Supreme Court order.

Ahead of historic Opinion Poll Day celebrations, Sardesai said the identity politics has gained much importance.

Goa had witnessed historical opinion poll in which the people had voted against the merger of former Portuguese territory into neighbouring Maharashtra.

 Sardesai said that on the eve of opinion poll day celebrations,  we need that the heroes who have maintained our identity should be recognized.

“If they are not recognized, people will not be with you. We (GFP) speak about identity politics. Goa retained its Goemkarponn (Goanness) due to Opinion Poll. If we had not to win that (Opinion poll), then we would have been just one taluka of Maharashtra,” he said.

“If we don’t accept it and don’t recognize in the history, then people will not be happy with you,” he added.

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Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah

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New Delhi: The  solution for current impasse on the industry would be brought about soon by the Central government, BJP National President Amit Shah told the delegation of Mining dependents and MPs.

The delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front along with all the three Members of Parliament – Shripad Naik, Narendra Sawaikar and Vinay Tendulkar, met Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.

GMPF President Puti Gaonkar, in a statement issued has said that Shah mentioned that the data about the loss of jobs, idle trucks and barges and bank Non Performing Assets is worrying.

“Shah assured that a solution to the present mining impasse shall be brought about soon by the Central government,” Gaonkar added.

“During the meeting on Sunday, Shah stated that the issue of livelihood faced by lakhs of Goans due to stoppage of mining activities in the State is known by all and that Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and MPs of Goa have been following up with the Central government for a solution,” he added.

The mining industry in Goa has come to a standstill since March last year after Supreme Court quashed 88 Iron Ore extraction leases in the coastal state.

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Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem

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Three workers were critically injured in a last at Cement block manufacturing unit at Tuem

Team Spotlight

GOA: Three workers were critically injured and six others had miraculous escape with minor injuries after a blast in a cement block manufacturing factory at Tuem Industrial Estate, this afternoon.

The incident happened around 12.15 noon when more than dozen of workers were present in the factory.

Pernem Police Inspector Sandesh Chodankar said that all three workers who were injured in the blast were taken to Goa Medical College and Hospital.

“Their situation is critical and being treated,” he said.

While Fire and Emergency Services rushed to the spot immediately, they cordoned off the place and extinguished the fire.

Chodankar said that the exact cause of blast would be known only after State Factories and Boilers Department submits its report.

He said that the offence of endangering human life would be filed against the owner and management of the factory.

Tuem Industrial Estate is located in Pernem taluka, which is bordering Maharashtra.

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