Riled by BJP's barb that it was behind the closure of mining in Goa, the opposition Congress today hit back saying Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was the "kingpin" behind cessation of the activity in the state.
"Parrikar as the Leader of Opposition and chief of Public Accounts Committee had shouted against the mining industry," said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president John Fernandes.
"Parrikar was the kingpin behind closure of mining industry in the state," he alleged.
Fernandes was reacting to the charge by BJP leaders at its PM candidate Narendra Modi's rally here yesterday that Congress-led Union government stopped mining industry in Goa to destabilise the economy of the state.
Mining is a sensitive issue in the coastal state whose economy has suffered since the activity was banned following the Supreme Court order.
"Parrikar-led government imposed ban on mining and the supreme court continued the ban leaving several hundred people jobless," Fernandes said.
The apex court had banned mining in Goa following allegations of large scale illegal mining.
He said there was no opposition at all to clamp illegal mining but the legal mining be allowed.
Modi in his speech yesterday assured that his party would lift the ban on mining if voted to power in Centre.
Meanwhile, Congress also objected to the proposed auctioning of mining leases terming it as a move to hand over the mining industry to few individuals and MNCs.
"The hidden agenda is to deny mining leases to locals and hand them over to Adanis and Ambanis," Fernandes alleged.