Panaji (Goa) [India], January 12 (ANI): The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has congratulated the people of Shel-Melauli and said that 'People's Power' has won as Health Minister Vishwajit Rane wrote to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant demanding scrapping of proposed Indian Institue of Technology (IIT) project in Sattari after realising the growing support to the 'Anti-IIT protests from across Goa'.
The Goa government on Tuesday demarcated the land for the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Shel-Melauli village in Sattari taluka of North Goa amid heavy police deployment and protests. Locals from the village are opposing the IIT project claiming that the facility would rob them of their land.
Rane has urged Sawant to withdraw the IIT-Goa campus project from his assembly constituency of Valpoi in North Goa, in wake of sustained protests against the project, which had turned violent last week.
GPCC President Girish Chodankar reacting to the latest development said that Rane had no other option, but to stoop before the united Villagers of Sattari.
"After Congress demanded the withdrawal of FIRs registered against protestors, the release of all those arrested and stop more arrests last week in our memorandum to DGP, Health Minister is now making a face-saving exercise of demanding the withdrawal of FIR's," Chodankar said in a statement.
"We want Health Minister to prove his mettle and show that the FIR's are withdrawn in next 24 hours. Let Vishwajit Rane ask for intervention from Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw FIR's against all those who had participated in the protests," he added.
The Congress leader said that during the Congress governments in the State, "we faced many agitations opposing various projects. But our governments never used police force to attack agitators and suppress their voices. We respected public sentiment and showed the courage to scrap the "Regional Plan" and "Special Economic Zones." Chodankar reiterated.
After repeatedly insisting on going ahead with the Indian Institute of Technology-Goa campus project "at any cost", Rane on Tuesday cited "popular sentiment" against the upcoming project at Melaulim village as the reason for his turnaround.
"I have written a letter to CM saying I do not want an IIT in my constituency. I have taken this decision in the interest of the people... The people's sentiment is against the IIT," Rane said in a video message on social media. (ANI)