Reaffirming his support to the tribals opposing the proposed bauxite mining for Vedanta at Niyamgiri hills in Orissa's Kalahandi district, Rahul Gandhi said he would fight for protection of tribal interest.
To a query during an interaction with tribal youths at Kotpad in Koraput district on likelihood of change of stand on Niyamgiri bauxite mining issue after shifting of Jayram Ramesh from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Gandhi replied, "It's doesn't matter who remains the minister.
I am with the tribals in their fight against mining at Niyamgiri and at no cost tribals interest will be ignored." Rahul Gandhi, who in August 2010, came down to Niyamgiri area to observe "Vijay Diwas" along with Dangaria Konda tribes, had announced that he would work as a "sipahi" (soldier) for tribals at New Delhi.
The Nehru-Gandhi scion's all out support to the tribal's agitation in Niyamgiri had led to MoEF rejecting a baxuite mining proposal by the state owned Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) for Vedanta's refinery project in Kalahandi.