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Chhattisgarh minister: Left to me, wouldn’t have given nod for mining

CHHATTISGARH Health and Panchayat Minister TS Singh Deo on Monday said had it been in his control, he would not have let mining take place in Hasdeo Aranya forests.

This comes two days after Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, while standing firm on his decision to allow mining in Hasdeo Aranya, said that “certain people” are trying to spread misinformation on the mining projects.

Addressing a gathering at an ongoing protest in the region, Singh Deo said, “You are addressing me as the CM; I am only an MLA. Had it been in my control, I would have not let mining happen in Hasdeo Aranya.”

Singh Deo, to have met the only state minister since they began a sit-in 95 days ago, said that he had spoken to the Sarguja district collector to a gram sabha again. Following the support extended from Sarguja district unit of the ruling Congress, Singh Deo went to the affected villages. He heard the protesters and said: “If people say they want a fresh gram sabha to decide whether they want mining, they should get a fresh gram sabha. I will suggest that only those from the affected area be given entry…”. He inspected the sites where there were claims of plantation in lieu of trees cut. “I didn’t find any plantings. This is the reason behind people’s anger…”

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