Congress, Vijai attack Parrikar doublespeak
After rightly facing the flak for abetting the mining scam in their days in power, Congress and the Independent MLA on Tuesday hit hard at the “duplicity” of the BJP-led Government whose MLAs themselves have sought for commencement of mining operations in the State and the “pro-mine owners” stand of the chief minister.
Congress MLA from Curtorim and CLP spokesperson Alex Reginaldo Lourenco said, “If these BJP MLAs want the Government to restart legal mining let the chief minister himself certify what is legal as the Shah Commission very clearly says that everything in the mining sector is illegal.”
Lourenco said that the chief minister had in the past backed his MLAs as they were “only engaged in mining transportation activities”, and sought to remind him that some former Congress MLAs too were only engaged in mining transportation activities. “But at that time, Parrikar used to snarl back saying ‘there is more to it than transportation’. Does that not apply to his MLAs as well?”
Lourenco further sought to know as to why the chief minister was delaying in initiating action against the guilty in the mining scam.
He also demanded to know why the Government was not initiating immediate action of seizing the illegal extracts and auctioning the same to recover the huge losses to the exchequer.
Independent MLA Vijai Sardesai said, “The demand from the BJP MLAs to restart mining operations only proves the nexus between the ruling politicians with illegal mining.” He went further and alleged that both political parties (the BJP and the Congress) have taken money from mine owners to fund their election battles.
Sardesai said, “The chief minister was part of the PAC and was well aware of the facts and figures which have been corroborated in the Shah Commission report.” He further added that Parrikar now as chief minister should not feel shell-shocked over the Shah Commission report as he knew what was coming and should have been better prepared to deal with the issue.
Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho said, “There should be no confusion of what is illegal to be legal (as all mining activity in the State has been held to be illegal by the Shah Commission). All those responsible for looting the State should be hauled up and the money made at the cost of the people, (pegged at Rs 35,000 crore and rising by the Shah panel), must be recovered.”
Congress MLA of Cumbarjua Pandurang Madkaikar said, "The Government should first implement the Shah Commission Report and punish the guilty involved in illegal mining. Identifying if (anything at all) is legal can come then, and only after that it should think of restarting mining activities." [H]