Congress today came out in support of the tribals, who are opposing Andhra Pradesh government's move allowing bauxite mining on forest land in agency area in Visakhapatnam district. A delegation of Congress members, led by AICC secretary and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das, paid a visit to Chintapalli in the district today and met the tribals to know their objections.
The Andhra Pradesh government recently issued a GO (order) allowing bauxite mining on 1,212 hectares of forest land, evoking sharp protests from opposition and tribals. "In view of the government's decision to start bauxite mining activity in Jerrela village in the area, Congress' fact-finding committee obtained views from the locals here. The delegation will submit a report to the Congress leadership on the issue soon," Das said.
The tribals clarified that they would not allow any mining activity in the area and told the delegation that the move would not only affect their livelihood, but also be harmful to environment. Tribal leader M Lingamurthy said launching the bauxite mining is tantamount to killing the tribals in the agency area. AICC SC cell chairman Koppula Raju alleged the government has violated the constitutional rights of the tribals through its order. Das told the tribals that Congress would support their agitation till the government withdraws its order.