The Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa unit has criticised the BJP-led ruling coalition and the Congress over the proposed all-party delegation to raise the issue of mining ore licenses with central ministers in New Delhi.In a press release issued here AAP leader Siddarth Karapurkar questioned the “nexus” between the ruling and opposition parties in planning the Delhi meeting to urge the Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to “find out means and ways so that mining operations in the State were not affected due to Supreme Court order”.The Supreme Court has directed that all mining activities on 87 cancelled leases be stopped from March 15.Mr. Karapurkar called it as yet another case of a friendship between the Congress and BJP and its alliance partners to sell the interests of the State to a few miners. AAP also lamented that the absence of a responsible opposition in the legislature is strikingly visible.The AAP has alleged that a few MLAs of both parties, whose stakes in the mining business is no secret, are grouping together in the name of this all-party delegation to New Delhi.Mr. Karapurkar demanded that the people of Goa must know what dialogue this delegation will have with the Central Ministers and people must also know what are the advantages and disadvantages of such a course for the State.“Mining resource is a wealth of the people,” he asserted and lamented that the all-party delegation, was “surely carrying a brief of a select few who have been enjoying the mining wealth of the State hitherto as payback for the funding they have been receiving for their political careers.”The AAP leader pointed out that while the senior-most Minister in the government, Sudin Dhavlikar, had in justification of their proposed Delhi delegation, said the State faces a loss of ₹3,500 crore and the ban will affect 2 lakh people, he has not spoken of who is going to recover the “loot of the mining wealth as estimated by Justice (retd) M. B. Shah Commission in its report on illegal mining. Why is there no clarity on that?” he asked.
While many players from Test-playing nations yearn to make a single appearance at the World Cup, it is his sheer grit, talent and determination that has seen Kenya’s Steve Tikolo represent the associate country in as many as four World Cups.It was his astute captaincy that saw him lead the African country to the semi-finals of the 2003 edition but Tikolo feels it was the management of the game in the country that took its eye off the ball when Kenya were on their way up the cricketing ladder.”The management let us down after our performance in the 2003 World Cup. While most teams would use the platform to take the leap into the next level and try to get Test status, we remained an associate nation. We failed to capitalise on the big break and internal politics broke the team down,” Tikolo said.”It was evident in the 2004 Champions Trophy and that was the reason I quit captaincy and led the players’ strike against the management. While others teams have grown from strength to strength, we went down over the years,” he said.While his return to international cricket from retirement hints at the lack of talented youngsters coming up, Tikolo believes financial constraints have also played a part.”There is definitely a lack of talent at the grassroots level but that has more to do with financial limitations more than anything else. If we had the financial backing like may be the Indian team has had over the years, I am sure more players would come into the fold. At present not too many people are keen to play cricket in Kenya,” he said.Being the only player to have played in each one of Kenya’s 23 matches in the World Cup, Tikolo will definitely be under pressure, but he doesn’t want to get bogged down.”I have been there and seen it all so I know what to do. Pressure of performing is something I have become used to. It doesn’t really affect me. I will just use all my experience to bring out the best in me and hope that I can help the team put up a good performance,” the 39-year-old said.Commenting on the youngsters to watch out for, Tikolo said: “We have three really talented players. While spinner Shem Ngoche will be shouldering the bowling responsibilities – especially with the sub-continent wickets helping the slow bowlers – Tanmay Mishra and Alex Obanda are promising batsmen,” he said.Tikolo feels the team has had a good preparatory camp in Dubai and the warmup matches in Sri Lanka will definitely stand them in good stead.”We had a very good time in Dubai and the facilities at the ICC academy there was top-class. Further, acclimatisation has been taken proper care of by the ICC as they arranged two warm-up games for us. Although we didn’t win our matches, we got a feel of the wickets in the sub-continent,” he said.”Also, the trip to India in early January helped us immensely as many of our guys got a feel of sub-continent conditions for the first time.”advertisement