Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday called for a “mass movement” against those who oppose development projects in India, PTI reported. He urged non-governmental organisations not to impede development, calling it the “worst form of obstructing justice” for the poor.

Goyal made the comments at the concluding ceremony of the “Vibrant Goa” investment summit held near Panaji. He referred to the construction of the Mopa greenfield airport, pointing out that it was stalled because of a petition in Supreme Court. In March, the top court suspended the project’s environmental clearance.

“I think it is high time there is a mass movement by people against those forces who are not allowing development to happen, who are not allowing good roads, hotels, airports, expansion of ports,” said the minister. He claimed such projects would turn Goa into a world-class state.

“They [people] should intervene in such petition and request the court to allow development to come to Goa, to allow peace and prosperity in Goa,” Goyal said. The minister added that he was willing to plead with NGOs and those who allegedly obstruct development.

The Opposition Congress criticised Goyal for his comments. State Congress President Girish Chodankar said the remarks were “undemocratic, dictatorial and anti environment and unbecoming of a union minister”. “Protecting the environment is people’s right,” he tweeted. “Goa Congress is for preserving identity of Goa.”

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