Goa Cong questions BJP endorsing govt's J&K move at Western Zone meet

Panaji, Aug 23 (IANS) Goa's Opposition Congress on Friday accused the BJP of unfairly using the Western Zone Council meeting of states to endorse the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.

Addressing a press conference in Margao town of South Goa district, state Congress President Girish Chodankar said: "None of the pressing issues related to Goa or to inter-state co-operation with neighbouring states were discussed at the Western Zone Council meeting of states."

"What was the issue that was raised? Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. Why was the forum of this meeting used to congratulate the PM on this?" Chodankar asked.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Thursday chaired a day-long meeting of the Western Zone Council in Goa. Attended by the Chief Ministers of Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and representatives from Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, the meeting unanimously adopted a resolution congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having abrogated Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The resolution was moved by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The Western Zone council is one of the five councils set up in 1957 under Sections 15-22 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, to resolve disputes and irritants between Centre and the states and among the respective states in the designated zones.

Chodankar also expressed anger at Sawant for not taking up the issue of mining ban and the flooding of Goa's Sal and Ibrahimpur villages.

"The crucial issue of mining ban, which has affected the livelihoods of thousands in the state, was not discussed at the Zonal Council meeting.

"Without informing the Goa government, the Maharashtra government released water from Tillari dam which lead to flooding in Goa's Sal and Ibrampur villages. There is no co-ordination betwen the two states. But Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's silence on these key issues of inter-state co-operation is unfortunate and is reflective of his weak leadership," he said.

--IANS

maya/rtp

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