MARGAO: The All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Goa desk, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, said that the Congress government in the state is responsible for setting up the Shah Commission to probe illegal mining.
Lashing out at Mr U B Singh, a member of the Shah Commission, Mr Brar said that the commission should not leak details of the probe and should work responsibly till the report is tabled.
Mr Brar made the statement while reacting to news item in an English daily, which quoted Shah Commission member on illegal mining on Saturday.
The AICC general secretary in-charge of Goa desk was speaking at the public meeting held on the sidelines of the inauguration of Fatorda Congress block committee office.
The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat, speaking on the occasion, said that it is only because of his interaction with the then Union environment minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh and the two memorandums sent by him to the Ministry of Environment, the Shah Commission was set up.
“Mining has been in existence in Goa since Portuguese rule. My government has not given a single new lease or licence for mining,” said Mr Kamat.
He also praised himself as the first chief minister to provide a stable government for five years in more than two decades.
Also present for the meeting, AICC secretary, Mr Sudhakar Reddy pointed out that the PAC report tabled in the House is more like a Parikkar Accounts Committee report and not a Public Accounts Committee report.
State Congress leaders, Mr Churchill Alemao, Mr Alex Cardozo, Mr Alex Reginaldo Lourenco, Mr Joaquim Alemao, Mr Subhash Shirodkar, Ms Monica Dias, Mr Babu Azgaonkar united on the stage along with Mr Reddy and Mr Brar to inaugurate the Fatorda Congress Block Committee office by GPCC general secretary, Mr Vijay Sardessai.
The cherry on the cake at the late night event was the uniting of the Alemaos, Chief Minister and Mr Sardessai who had a bitter misunderstanding after Ms Valanka Alemao was disqualified from standing for Youth Congress elections.
While all the Margao councilors were present, Mr Sardessai promoted councillor and Youth Congress president, Ms Pratima Coutinho and former MMC chairperson, Mr Savio Coutinho chose to skip the function and did not participate in the show of strength.
Also Ms Valanka Alemao, GPCC spokesperson chose to skip the function.
Mr Churchill Alemao pointed out that Vijay had hurt him in their previous tiff but stated that there are no friends and no enemies in politics.
Mr Joaquim Alemao also pointed out how the disgruntled former MLA Luizinho Faleiro tried to instigate Mr Sardessai by telling him that Churchill is promoting Goa Sewerage Corporation chairman, Ganshyam Shirodkar as Fatorda candidate.
“Luizinho is a sore loser and should do his work in Delhi and should not interfere in Goan politics now. Also he should not instigate Churchill to stand from Fatorda just because he has his eyes on Navelim and wants to ruin Vijay’s career,” said Mr Joaquim Alemao.
Led by Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Subhash Shirodkar, all Congress MLAs endorsed Mr Sardessai as the Fatorda candidate despite losing last elections and despite the high command yet to take a final call on candidates.
On the sidelines of the meet, Mr Shirodkar admitted to this daily that Vijay will get the ticket and that elections are in February since school and college examination are in March and then comes the monsoon.
Speaking at the meeting, Curtorim MLA, Mr Reginaldo Lourenco said, “Basically Congress leaders should not talk about who they defeated and why, but rather say what they can do.”
Mr Sardessai said that he lost the last elections because of the remarks made by the sitting MLA, Damodar Naik that, Mr Sardessai built his house illegally in a field and branded him as an agriculture field eater and illegal monster.
Mr Digambar Kamat endorsed Mr Sardessai by saying that some individuals do not need selection and get the party ticket for elections way before.
Mr Kamat pointed out that Congress candidates lose because of the infighting rather than the opposition, a key reason why it has been denied power in Fatorda.
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