Senior state Congress leader and Member of Parliament from South Goa, Mr Francisco Sardinha has called for immediate revocation of National Security Act saying that mere invocation of the laws would not help the state curb criminal and unlawful activities.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Mr Sardinha said that the criminal laws of the country and the state were potent enough to deal with the criminals and should be properly used without favour against those involved in illegal activities and "airtight" cases after proper investigation should be booked against the wrongdoers.
Invocation of such stringent law under normal circumstances does not augur well for people of the state in a democratic set-up, he said adding that there was possibility of the stringent law being used as hanging sword to settle political scores. He also said that he was not aware of NSA having been invoked during Congress rule but added that he would have opposed it if he had come to know about it.
Mr Sardinha also said that police know well enough as to who were involved in criminal activities and that NSA was not required to deal with them. "What is required was the will to act against the law breakers and take them to logical conclusion and not the NSA," he added.
"We need people (officials) who are accountable to the people of the state who would take action against those who do things that were detrimental to the well-being of the common citizens and well-being of the society and not just the stricter laws," stated Mr Sardinha, who is also the working president of the state Congress.
Dealing on the issue of Tillari, he said that efforts should be made to sort out the problems at the earliest and ensure that people did not suffer. He said that confrontation should be avoided at all cost as it would delay solution to a problem and the people of the state especially the farmers would sufferer.
Mr Sardinha said that the Chief Minister of Goa and Maharashtra should meet and hold discussions to settle the issue amicably and end the imbroglio for the benefit of the people, even as he added that "talking big" was not a solution to the problem. He said that there was politics in every sphere of life and so also in the Tillari project.
"We have seen that adamant behaviour between states will not help find solution," he said adding that the issues could be negotiated and settled. He also said that some of the issues that have cropped up now might not have been foreseen earlier, when the memorandum of understanding was signed.
Accusing the government of failing to keep its promises on various issues made during the elections, Mr Sardinha said that the much hyped announcement as regards to appointment of Lokayukta within 100 days was yet to materialise. The people have been worst sufferers of the government’s lack of policies for development, he said.
He also said that the development has come to a standstill in the state and that the only works that were being executed were those that were planned and sanctioned during the Congress rule. "The government has failed to keep its promise of carrying out development in Goa," he said adding that the Bahujan Samaj was the worst sufferer under the present government.
Mr Sardinha demanded that probe should be conducted into shoddy developmental works carried out during the previous regime and the officials and contractors responsible for the same should be punished for "squandering" away public funds, even as he went on to say that the politicians who headed the departments have been punished by the voters for not living up to their expectations and others involved should face the music.
The senior Congress leader said that the government appears to have made false promises to the people of the state even as he said that the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, took credit for the stoppage of the mining activities by the Supreme Court saying that his stand on "illegal mining" was vindicated when the decision hit the Bahujan Samaj, the most.
"God alone knows what the intentions of the Chief Minister are," he said referring to Mr Parrikar claiming credit for action against illegal mining, even as he said that Goa could hope for change for betterment of the people in New Year. The state authorities should ensure that a proper report was sent by the central empowered committee to the apex court which would help in restarting mining activity.
He said that he wishes to re-contest the parliamentary elections but it would depend on whether he was fit enough to take on the rigours of electioneering. "As a loyal soldier of the party, I have been working for the party and would continue to do so," he said adding that the party would recognise his services to the people. Mr Sardinha assured to take up the issue of construction of parallel bridge over River Zuari as also the bridges on River Galgibag and Talpona, even as he added that the earlier tender had to be cancelled as it lapsed. "I will take up the matter with the Prime Minister and seek his help in construction of the bridges at earliest," he said. [NT]