Ahead of Goa polls, Congress promises law protecting land rights of locals


PANAJI: The Congress will enact a law providing protection to the land rights of locals, if the party is voted to power in Goa, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has said.

The Congress will also restart the iron ore mining industry in Goa by legal methods, Chidambaram said addressing the party workers on Saturday in Valpoi Assembly constituency, currently represented by state Health Minister and BJP leader Vishwajit Rane.

Chidamdaram is the Congress’ senior election observer for the Goa Assembly polls due early next year.

“I know the land laws across the country. There is a scope for making a law in Goa,” Chidambaram said, referring to various protests by locals, specially the tribals, to safeguard their land rights.

He said the “Congress will make a law” conferring tenancy rights and protecting the tenants in respect of the land in their possession.

“It is called the Protection of Tenancy Rights Act. The tenant can cultivate the land and after him, his family can continue cultivating it. Such a law is existing in India, such a law would be implemented in Goa,” he said.

On the issue of mining, which used to be a major source of revenue for Goa and is stalled in the state since 2018 after a Supreme Court order, Chidambaram said there is a legal way to restart mining.

“Once the Congress government is formed, the mining will be restarted in a legal way,” he said without elaborating.

Chidambaram also said the Congress’s candidate for the Assembly poll from Valpoi constituency would be from among those recommended by the party’s block unit.

“The block Congress will be consulted about the candidate, and no decision will be taken without consulting the block. You have recommended four names and the candidate will be selected from amongst those four,” he said.

In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats in the 40-member House.

But, the BJP at that time forged an alliance with some regional outfits and independent legislators to form government.

The Congress currently has only four legislators in the state.