Dabolim parking: Reginaldo throws ball in Parrikar’s court

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The Congress MLA from Curtorim, Mr Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and the Fatorda Independent MLA, Mr Vijai Sardesai in a joint ...

MARGAO: The Congress MLA from Curtorim, Mr Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and the Fatorda Independent MLA, Mr Vijai Sardesai in a joint press conference held in Margao on Saturday demanded that the Chief Minister,

Mr Manohar Parrikar re-acquire the de-notified land at Dabolim for parking by January 1, 2013, or else they would launch a mass movement.
Mr Lourenco openly admitted that his party government was involved in scams and was, therefore, voted out of power. He challenged Mr Parrikar to re-notify the de-notified land. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister during his recent visit to Navelim had said that if the Congressmen admitted that they had committed a scam and made money out of it, he would re-acquire the land.
“Now, as a Congressman, I admit that the scam was committed by my party government. I am also prepared to name the Congress beneficiaries but before I do that,     Mr Parrikar should re-notify the land, as one cannot trust him. Now that I have taken up the challenge to announce the Congress action of fraud, I challenge him to re-notify the land if he can keep up his word,” Mr Lourenco said.
Addressing the media at Mr Sardesai’s office, both the MLAs said that they have joined hands in support of the Dabolim airport and to expose the Chief Minister for his “state-sponsored scams concerning the airport.” “We demand that the Chief Minister immediately re-acquire the de-notified land at Dabolim and use it for parking. Why is he not doing it?” they questioned alleging that the Chief Minister is also a part of the scam.
Mr Lourenco and Mr Sardesai pointed at an affidavit of the Airports Authority of India before the court, which clearly states that the de-notified land is the only land suitable for parking. Both the MLAs demanded that CBI inquiry must be ordered into the parking land issue. “The government is now trying to sabotage a national project of public interest and also endangering the national security by trying to dispossess the Navy of its strategic defence land, for pecuniary benefits,” they said.
Mr Lourenco said that he had supported Mr Sardesai in  demanding CBI inquiry because the alternative land offered for parking belonged to the Indian Navy, which is a central government agency, and more importantly, a part of our national defence whose authority is at stake.
Mr Sardesai and Mr Lourenco vowed that they would oppose the state government’s moves to indirectly merge Goa into Maharashtra. Mr Sardesai said that the tendering of Mopa airport should be taken up only after the land for parking at Dabolim is re-notified. “The government should take action before January 1, 2013. If it is not re-notified by then, people of Goa would be appealed to join hands in a mass movement to save Dabolim airport and thwart the BJP-led government’s clandestine plans for an indirect merger of Goa into Maharashtra,” he said.
When the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president, Mr Subhash Shirodkar was contacted for his reaction on his party MLA, Mr Lourenco’s comment that the erstwhile Congress government had committed scams, he said that Mr Lourenco had made the comment in his capacity as an MLA and the Congress Legislative Party spokesperson. When specifically asked whether he subscribed to the statement of his party MLA, his reply was unclear. He, however, said that his party was in favour of the Dabolim airport and, therefore, it had convinced the Centre, which had sanctioned Rs 500 crore for the airport’s expansion. On the Dabolim land acquisition issue, Mr Shirodkar said that it was an administrative issue.