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'Natarajan-Gandhi tussle delayed mining resumption in Goa'

Panaji, Jan 30
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar Friday said that the Natarajan-Gandhi tussle could have resulted in the prolonged delay in resolving Goa's iron ore mining sector crisis.

His remark came after former UPA minister Jayanthi Natarajan Friday blamed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the slack performance of her environment ministry.

Reacting to senior Congress leader and former union minister for environment and forests' comments blaming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's directives for slow decision making in her ministry, Parsekar said: "I do not know what transpired between Jayanthi Natarajan and so called leader of Congress, Gandhi. So I cannot comment on it, but since she has given this reaction there seems to be substance therein. There is no smoke without fire."

When asked whether the tussle between Gandhi and Natarajan could have eventually led to the delay in resolving Goa's mining sector crisis he said that "definitely there has been delay".

Goa's mining has been non-operational for more than two years because of three successive actions, namely a temporary suspension of mining permission by the state government, a revocation of green clearances by the MoEF and then a ban by the Supreme Court following the revelation of a Rs. 35000 crore illegal mining scam.

The ban was been lifted last year, but mining has not yet resumed due to logistical issues yet.