The government has decided on Justice (retd) B Sudershan Reddy, a retired Supreme Court judge, as the first Lokayukta of Goa.
The leader of the opposition, Mr Pratapsingh Rane and the Bombay High Court will now have to be consulted before endorsement of the decision. Justice (retd) Reddy had retired from the apex court on July 7, last year after an illustrious career.
Addressing a gathering in the city on the occasion of the launch of the second Jana Sampark Abhiyan of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on Tuesday, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar said that the paperwork and other formalities for the appointment of the Lokayukta have already begun. “Although my government could not keep its 100-day deadline for the appointment of the state Lokayukta, no one should doubt the honourable intention of the government in appointment of the best and the honest Lokayukta,” he added, pointing out that once people know about the judgements given by the judge finalised for the post of the state Lokayukta, they would vouch for his integrity.
Stating that efforts of his government to provide a clean government to the people of Goa is marred by hindrances from the Congress Party, the Chief Minister said that he would fulfil at least 95 per cent of the assurances given by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its manifesto during the 2012 state assembly elections, within two years of his governance. “I want to transform Goa into an ideal state, but would not be able to do so, in the face of obstacles from such dirty-minded people,” he observed.
“The state administration has already gathered speed, and the rust gathered by it during the 7-year rule of Congress Party is being cleared,” Mr Parrikar maintained, informing that although he could not give enough time for the city of Panaji as its MLA, top class world consultants have now been appointed to give a face-lift to the city and carry out its dream development. “And one can get a clear idea about Panaji’s future look from the recently developed Patto Plaza area,” he noted.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that many of the Congress leaders have been involved in illegal mining, and are therefore, directly responsible for the related sufferings faced by the people of Goa. “The government is facing financial crunch due to the closure of the state mining industry, but I fully know how to handle the situation, and would never, during my ongoing five-year career as the Chief Minister rollback on the decision to reduce petrol prices by Rs 11, as suggested by some,” he assured, adding that although the beneficiaries of various schemes of his government would collectively receive Rs 650 crore by March 2013, the people should not misuse these schemes.
Mr Parrikar also said that his government has enough evidences about the corruption carried out by state Congress leaders, but there exist laws in the country, and hence he just cannot take speedy decisions to throw them behind bars. “My government will provide all opportunities to these leaders so that they are not denied natural justice,” he maintained, pointing out, “However, I can assure you that the guilty would be punished.” The Chief Minister took strong objection to the politicisation of the Mopa airport issue by the Fatorda MLA, Mr Vijai Sardesai. “I am aware about the lands in the vicinity of the Mopa airport being purchased under benami names, and will ensure that government acquires all of them,” he stated, mentioning that presently such lands are being identified.
Mr Parrikar also said that issues as regards alleged Portuguese nationality of the BJP legislator, Mr Glen Ticlo are being raked up solely to distract his government from performing, when there in no substance in such allegation. “I would like to raise a similar question as regards the nationality of the president of Congress Party, Ms Sonia Gandhi,” he retorted.
The Chief Minister further said that although he had announced his retirement from active politics after end of his present tenure as the Chief Minister, in the year 2017, it now appears that he needs to stay along in politics, especially after looking at the kind of acts done by the Congressmen, and the possibility of such acts being repeated by them, in the future. “I may well have to go back on my words about the retirement, in the larger interest of the people and the state,” he added.
The desk in-charge of the BJP for Goa, Ms Arati Mehra, speaking on the occasion said that the fact that the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar was honoured with the Best Politician of the Year Award by a news channel, few months within taking over the post, itself speaks of the integrity of the man.
The state president of the BJP, Mr Vinay Tendulkar said that large number of Goans including Muslims from Navelim and Christians from Cumbharjua would be joining the BJP soon. The Health Minister, Mr Laxmikant Parsekar, in his speech said that 75 per cent things in the manifesto of the BJP were derived from the public suggestions. The Jan Sampark Abhiyan of the BJP will cover most of the state, and conclude at Mapusa with a public meeting on January 30. [NT]