The UPA government at the Centre is targeting mining operations only in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governed states, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar alleged, speaking at the two-day BJP national council meeting, where he shared the stage with L K Advani and other party big wigs.
"India which was exporting mining produce in large quantities is today importing them. It is not that illegal mining is not going on in states other than those governed by the BJP like Andhra Pradesh. But it seems that action is only being taken in NDA-governed states. This raises doubts on the character of the UPA government," Manohar Parrikar said, speaking in Hindi with a smattering of English.
The Goa chief minister said that the UPA II tabled the Shah Commission report on illegal mining in Goa in the Parliament without even forwarding it for the approval of the cabinet.
Parrikar, during his five-minute long speech focused on the 'faulty' financial management of the government, which is burning holes in the pocket of the common man.
Beginning and concluding his speech with 'the UPA government is a directionless one', Parrikar said, "The UPA has hiked the price of fuel time and again during its tenure, blaming it on prices globally. The fact is that various kinds of taxes under different labels like excise duty are added to the fuel price. In Goa, we have cut the taxes to bring the price down to as little as Rs 52."
Narendra Modi – BJP's Gujarat chief minister who has created a buzz as vying to be the party prime ministerial candidate at the 2014 elections – briefly mentioned Manohar Parrikar during his much-awaited speech at the national council meeting as being among BJP chief ministers who have introduced governance with a difference.
Parrikar, addressing his party's national leaders, said, "The UPA has been exposed in scams of every kind including the recent one over the helicopter deal. But the media has missed out the scam in the agriculture sector, where every now and then we hear of exports opened for a product or closed which directly impacts the prices in the local market and causes them to fluctuate."
The Goa chief minister, whose name has also cropped up in the past for the post of BJP's prime ministerial candidate, also touched upon the issue of FDI in retail.
"We think that if Walmart comes to India, only the shopkeepers will be affected. I have scanned a Walmart store in America when I was there on a visit three years ago. I did not find a single 'Made in America' product in the superstore. There were products made in every country in the world but America. In India too, it will kill the small scale producers," Parrikar said. [TOI]