Edit Corner

‘I dare CM to send Congress Ministers to jail’

I was quite taken aback when I heard an Opposition MLA make this statement a few days ago during our impromptu chat, “I dare CM to send Congress Ministers to jail”.

He further went on state that, Manohar Parrikar will only huff-puff and try to threaten the erstwhile Congress ministers and some current Congress MLAs, but would not have the guts to send any of the previous corrupt politicians to jail”.

So I started to question him more on his assumptions and allegations.

The MLA went on to elaborate, “In Opposition, Parrikar screamed from rooftops that illegal mining existed in Goa. But in the PAC report, he conveniently left-out the Minister for Mines, his former BJP-man Digambar Kamat. Even now it appears that the CM wants to save Kamat, who is without a doubt neck deep in illegal mining. Take another instance of the police-politician-drug nexus, where he raved about having photographic evidence of former Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy Naik being involved in the drug business, but till now, he has not made public those photographs. Now to please GVP’s Mickky Pacheco he has set-up a House Committee to investigate the police-politician-drug nexus and just to give him a carrot to chew on for sometime, he has made him the Chairman.”

I continued to listen.

“Do you think Parrikar will ever go after a political heavy-weight like Churchill Alemao even though he is fully aware of the corruption running into several thousand crores in the Public Works Department (PWD). Alemao’s close friend Sudin Dhavlikar (now PWD minister) is working overtime to cover the tracks of the erstwhile PWD minister and in some cases even continue with some kickback deals.

Politically, Parrikar will never want to cross-swords with Alemao because all said and done, he is still a force in the South. And with Alemao on the verge of a fall-out with the Congress. To Parrikar he will be a more safer ally than the erratic Pacheco, whom Parrikar personally dislikes and in close circles calls a ‘buffon’.

Even Atanasio (Babush) Monseratte, Parrikar will never lay a finger on him because of their connections and arrangements political, business-wise and even financially. “

The MLA went on to allege that the St Cruz, Margao, Panjim and Taliegao seats were already pre-arranged in a meeting that happened in the last week of January 2012 between Monseratte, Parrikar, Kamat and some other associates at a common friend’s residence at Miramar.

So I continued to listen attentively.

“The only MLA that he would go after and sees as a threat will be Vishwajeet Rane. But on that front, I believe Parrikar’s cordial relationship with Pratapsingh Rane will come to the fore and I doubt Parrikar will make good on his allegations when in Opposition against the former Congress Health Minister and take any steps against Vishwajeet.”

So I asked this now visibly excited MLA, so what is Parrikar’s game plan. To which he replied, “By hanging the sword above their head it is easier to control the opposition MLAs and former ministers. But to sever relationships with them, in a manner of putting them to jail, will not serve his political ambitions, because at some point of time he would need these same Congress politicians. Some of whom are waiting to leave Congress. Look at Mauvin Godinho, he has pratically parked himself as a Feet-Dog near Parrikar, so much is his fear of Parrikar that he even orchestrated the Congress Cortalim embarrassment. And you can’t blame Godinho, because the last time Parrikar was in power, he made sure Godinho felt the coldness of the lock-up floor.

I interrupted his flow of thought, saying I believe Parrikar is waiting for the Lokayukta to be appointed to go after the former corrupt politicians. To which, the MLA smirked and said, “Are they no Anti-Corruption laws already existing under which inquiries can be set to investigate the corruption that he alleged.

The MLA continued, “In his tenure in Opposition he spoke against the Casinos and today one of Parrikar’s biggest patrons are the likes of Jaydev Mody of Delta Corp that owns Casino Royale. Delta Corp is also connected to the Peninsula ( those whom Parrikar accused in the SEZ scam). I am certain that in a few months, he will find a way to give these lands back to the same developers under some new scheme or PPP model. Even the Shiv Jatia’s Leading Hotel Golf Course project in Teracol, which the erstwhile Congress government had approved, his government is going ahead with it, because Jatia’s are strongly linked to the BJP high command, in particular the BJP-Goa Observer Arti Mehra. And strangely the land acquisition by the company is very questionable. But Parrikar is getting the government to re-acquire the land from the current owners and then sell it once again to Leading Hotels as a probable government infrastructure project.”

So what do you plan to do about these strong allegations you are making, I asked. To which the MLA replied, “I will continue to expose the double standards of Parrikar, especially his attempt to Saffronise various departments of the government.”

The discussion with the MLA was interesting and as always must be taken with a pinch of salt. But what many politicians fail to understand, that those in power are put they by the people who elected politicians for reasons best known to the people. Parrikar brought the BJP-government in power, riding on an Anti-Congress wave and if his government walks the path similar to the erstwhile corrupt Congress-government; people will send Parrikar’s government also packing. Because in the end the power to elect lies with the PEOPLE. And post this election, they are an awakened lot and are watching the new government.

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