Goa CM ready to talk to villagers opposing IIT campus: BJP

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Panaji, Jan 8 (PTI) The ruling BJP in Goa on Friday said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is ready to have a dialogue with villagers opposing the proposed IIT campus in Sattari taluka and accused the opposition Congress of misleading agitators.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Goa president Sadanand Shet Tanavade, however, said Sawant will not visit Shel- Melaulim village where locals are agitating against the proposed IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) project in the area.

The protest turned violent on Wednesday with the agitators hurling stones and police responding with lathicharge. At least 12 policemen and several villagers were injured.

The police on Thursday filed cases against several local Congress leaders and social activists in connection with the violence.

Talking to reporters, Tanavade accused opposition parties, including the Congress, and communists of misleading villagers and denying them opportunity of have an IIT in their locality.

'The Chief Minister is ready to have a dialogue with the villagers, but he will not visit the village. Let the villagers come and meet him and discuss the issue, he said.

Mob psychology would create unruly situation if the Chief Minister visits the village,' the BJP leader said.

'I can even see some red flags in the village.

Communists are also trying to encash on it (the agitation), Tanavade said.

The issue of IIT at Shel-Melaulim would be solved, the day NGOs and opposition parties stop interfering there, he said.

He said it was dream of former CM late Manohar Parrikar (who studied at IIT Bombay) to have a campus of the prestigious institute in the state and the current BJP government is fulfilling it.

Tanavade appealed to residents of Shel-Melaulim in North Goa district not to get misled by opposition parties.

Police have booked several villagers on attempt to murder charges after the violence.

The villagers are not ready to part with their land for the project. PTI RPS RSY RSY