Congress demands probe by central agencies into mining scam

PANAJI: The Congress party has demanded that there should be a thorough probe by central agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and Central Bureau of Investigation into the mining scam, and role of politicians as also that of the mining companies, which should be monitored by the Supreme Court.

Addressing a press conference, on Thursday afternoon, the Congress Legislature Party spokesperson, Mr Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, told reporters that people of the state want that Rs 35,000 crore “looted” by unscrupulous elements should be recovered, even as he said that if the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, was not in a position to recover the amount then he should quit the post.
The Congress party has also condemned the outburst of the Chief Minister against the Supreme Court on Wednesday (October 24) and said that rather than having faith in the judiciary Mr Parrikar was behaving like an employee of mining companies and uttering statements tutored to him.
The Justice Khandeparkar committee has been formed to selectively punish those marked by the ruling party, he added.
Stating that the Congress party was supportive and sympathetic of the mine workers, truckers and other dependents on the industry, Mr Lourenco said that government should rather appeal for an early relief rather than criticising the apex court and complicating the matters for the affected people as well as the state.
He said that the opposition leader, Mr Pratapsing Rane, has already sought a probe by the apex court into the Shah Commission report and that Mr Parrikar had no right to point accusing fingers either at Mr Rane or Mr Digambar Kamat, who preceded him.
He also said that Mr Parrikar, who was Chief Minister between 2000 and 2004, could not absolve himself of wrong doings including matters relating to condonation of delay.
Referring to the announcement made by the Chief Minister about demarcation of one kilometre buffer zone around the wildlife sanctuaries and lone national park in the state with immediate effect, Mr Lourenco said that Mr Parrikar should come out with the list of companies that were located within the 0-1 kilometre zone and tell which companies he was trying to protect.
Mr Lourenco further stated that this was not the first time that Mr Parrikar had criticised judiciary and said that while he was Chief Minister earlier he had criticised the High Court and later tendered apology.
On the statement of the Chief Minister that people of the state should trust him, the CLP spokesman said that this itself proved that Mr Parrikar doubted himself and as such was asking people to have trust him.