Monday 6 May 2024

Elections 2024 and mining implications for Goa

Let's accelerate sound utilization of District Mineral Trust Fund for the support of mining affected People

Electoral system in India is currently facing formidable challenge of electronic rigging with the way Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are deployed to almost de-franchise people of India and usher in dictatorial system. Free and Fair elections might have been feasible to some extent with paper ballots. Indian current ethical system transmitted through Election Commision of India (ECI) did not allow any of these possibilities. Even Judiciary has betrayed people of India on this count. The consequences of such situation is the collosal collapse of voter trust in electoral system of EVM. The era of Guaratees is founded upon subtracting the basic guarantee of vote being registered in favour of candidate to whom voter votes. There is such a lot of evidence to this fact in India including latest proofs pointed out by Advocate Sadanand Vaingankar of Corruption Abolution Party in Margao for which he was criminally charged and detained for four hours under arrest past week.

This is an eco-system of Electronic corruption that jostled confidence of ruling political party to win election by winning over 400 seats in Lok Sabha.

Along side planned Electronic rigging of democratic mandate must be viewed something related: Electoral bonds. Electoral bonds to the Political Parties is brute camafulage of corporate hijacking of agendas as well as purchase of political candidature. It's a dramatic transition of democracy into corporate prey garden.

Implication of the above political cocktail is indeed highly threatening and we need to take steps to counter its dangerous implications immidiately through Resilience. While entire Country is facing perilous situation over increasingly corrupt and sophisticated polity Goa stands to loose the most.

These elections being that of Central government it has direct Implications to mining in Goa. Mining has unfolded biggest scam of Rs.35,000 crore in Goa and recovery of this amount is still pending due to various political reasons and power dynamics.

Mining industry has fielded Pallavi Dempo on BJP ticket in South Goa. Pallavi was born in family involved in Mining - Timblos of Margao and married in Mining family - Dempos of Panaji. Both these families are involved in eco-criminal activities through open cast iron ore Mining for past three generations and accumulated wealth sufficient for next 30 generations. In fact the election affidavit of Pallavi Dempo records her spouse Srinivas Dempo currently having mining lease in Sindadurg, Maharashtra worth several crores of Rupees. Dempo Family is responsible to getting globally notorious mining company Vandata Limited and its subsidiaries in Goa. The call for CBI investigations in the Mines transfer was never agreed to even though there are grounds for such investigations. 

Pallavi Dempo has disclosed assets worth more than 1000 crore in election affidavit and one can only guess as to how much might have remained undisclosed and off the record.

Fielding of Pallavi Dempo is significant indicator of both dissatisfaction with politicians to cover up and lobby for mining industry in Goa as well as desire for accelerating corporate take over of polity at the highest level in India.

All over Goa both Timblos as well as Dempos - like other mining companies - has profited from mining aggression of Goa's ecology, land, ground water, springs, lakes, water wells, agriculture, horticulture, forest, rivers. These families has been outstanding predators as well as parasites that has sucked out Goa economically as well as ecologically.

Crores of royalty collected by Goa State from the sale of minerals is stored in District Mineral Trust Fund (DMTF) without disbursing to mining affected areas. These funds should have been utilized for the people in mining belt that have been victims of mineral wounds to their geographies.

Candidates contesting Lok Sabha Elections in North as well as South Goa has to put this issue on agenda and get DMTF funds dispersed towards restoration of minerals wounded geographies of Goa in North as well as South Goa.

It is an irony that while mining industry is eager to take off yet again but it has paid no attention to the disbursement of DMTF to mining affected areas. Srinivas Dempo headed Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has been vocal in demanding dredging and deepening of Mandovi, Zuari and Cumbharjua Canal but it is not bothered about disbursement of DMTF to mining ravaged localities in Goa.

Politicians at all levels have been a failure to call for disbursement DMTF to mining affected people proving that they care a dam for Goa's minerally affected livelihoods.

It is rather strange that no political party thought it fit to speak up for the sound utilization of DMTF considering mining is so often being reffered to as backbone of Goa's economy. No Candidates of any Political Party or Independents thought it important to care for the mining affected people by pushing the DMTF issue on the election agenda even as Goa goes for the polls on May 06, 2024.

It is absolutely important to make DMTF functional and we need political parties to support and care for this.

Those who agree and willing to collaborate to make DMTF functional reach out to the author at 9923336347 or on email

Dr. S.A. Rodrigues
Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Goa State