Tuesday , 19 November 2019
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NCP says not averse to pre-poll alliance with Congress

PANAJI: Even as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress look to have ‘in principle’ decided to continue their alliance for the next assembly elections, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) seems to be in two minds on the issue.

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Violence was planned in Balli to defame Kavlekar: Churchill

MARGAO: The public meeting of Congress block committee at Quepem on Sunday started with Curtorim MLA, Mr Reginaldo Lourenco taking a dig at Mr Churchill Alemao for terming Mr Vijai Sardesai as immature at Saturday’s Fatorda Congress meeting. 

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High command to probe mining scam charges against state Cong leaders

 

Panaji: Perhaps stung by the severe criticism of the state government by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the alleged involvement of some of the cabinet ministers and other Congress leaders in the illegal mining scam, the Congress high command has decided to thoroughly probe the charges and has deputed two teams for assessment.
While the team led by the general secretary in-charge of Goa desk, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar landed in the state on Friday, Mr Oscar Fernandes, a senior Congress leader, arrived in the state on Saturday morning for an independent study of the situation in the state and also the functioning of the party and the government.
Sources in the party said that the central leadership has taken the issue seriously and had sent the two teams for assessment before taking any action. They said that the party wanted to go to the upcoming assembly polls on high moral ground and there was every possibility of some heads rolling in near future.
Meanwhile, some senior Congress leaders have accused the state leadership of trying to keep them away from central leaders by keeping them in the dark and “misinforming” them of the programmes of the central observers.
The party cadres, including some top notch leaders in the state, have expressed unhappiness over the way they were being treated and kept away from meeting the central leaders at a time when general elections to the state assembly were round the corner.
“The party is in a crisis following sustained attack by the opposition party and these leaders want to hide things by keeping the loyal Congress workers away from central leaders fearing that they could be exposed,” said a senior leader who was called to the Congress office for a meeting only to find it locked.
A few other party leaders who had turned up at the Congress office on Saturday afternoon to meet their central leaders were also shocked to find the party office closed. Aggrieved at being misinformed, the party leaders including a vice president of the party and a former minister expressed shock at the manner in which they were being treated.
Some of the Congress leaders told The Navhind Times that they were informed by a party general secretary that Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar and Mr P Sudhakar Reddy would be available in the Congress House and would be available for the party workers on Saturday afternoon to express their views.
The senior Congress leader said that some of the office bearers of the party looking after the programmes of the central Congress leaders were misleading the party cadres, perhaps to prevent them from meeting the central leaders and telling them about the party affairs. “They seemed to have hidden the central leaders so as to prevent party cadres from airing their views on party affairs,” he said.
Another senior Congress leader wondered whether the party could afford to keep their cadres away from decision making central leaders when the elections were just a few months away. “We are unable to understand why we have been kept in the dark about the programmes and place of stay of the central leaders,” he asked.
Yet another office bearer said that perhaps the state leaders did not want the truth to be told to the central leaders about party affairs in Goa and as such they were misdirecting the party cadres. “At a time when the party cadres should be bonding, these leaders were trying to create rift among the party men,” he said. 
Meanwhile, the Shah Commission officials on Saturday visited the mines of the Chowgules, Bandekars and Damodar Mangalji Company (DMC). They also held meeting with the Forest department officials and sought documents about the mines located in forest areas, informed official sources.

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State govt responsible for setting up Shah Commission to probe illegal mining: Brar

 

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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Govt committed to develop network of roads: Churchill

 

PANAJI: Stating that the development works, which have been  undertaken by the government all over the state, have led to the strengthening of  infrastructure, the Minister for PWD, Mr Churchill Alemao, on Friday, said that the construction of roads  is one such development work of the government.
Mr Alemao was speaking after laying foundation stone for the construction of road leading to Shree Shashti Shantadurga Devasthan in Dongri in Tiswadi. 
He reiterated government’s commitment to extend network of roads in the state by constructing quality roads in every nook and corner of the state.
The PWD Minister listed various development works like construction of bridges, upgradation or construction  of new roads, laying of water pipelines for augmentation of water supply etc.
Regarding  the welfare schemes, Mr Alemao informed  the people that  the government  has implemented several social welfare schemes under RDA. 
He  assured that  the government will undertake the beautification of surrounding area and illumination  of the temple and construction of compound  soon.
The MLA and vice chairman of GSIDC, Mr Francisco  Silveira thanked the government  and the Minister for undertaking various  development works in Neura and  surrounding areas. 
The estimated cost of the work is Rs 40 lakh. Mr Samir Naik, Sarpanch, Mr Nitin Neurekar, AE, PWD, also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Aviton Silveira, ZP member, attended the function. Mr Mahendra Shirodkar welcomed the guests and also compered the function.

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More women candidates this time around: Mauvin

 

PANAJI: The chief of Congress campaign committee, Mr Mauvin Godinho has said that Congress party could field more women candidate than ever before who fit the criteria for selection even as he said that party tickets would also be given to members of the Scheduled Tribe communities.
Responding to a query from reporters at a press conference, Mr Godinho also said that the state Congress wanted to go alone in the upcoming general elections to the state assembly but would abide by any decision that the party high command would take to prevent division of secular votes. 
He also said that Congress on its own could win upto 26 seats in the next elections.
As regards to corruption and illegal mining, he said that Congress party favoured appointment of a strong ombudsman with powers higher than the Election Commission of India and a strong bill to that effect would be brought soon in the Parliament. 
As regards to illegal mining, he said that party leadership has already spoken out saying that those involved would not be spared.
On the issue of rebellion by the party leaders on being denied tickets, Mr Godinho said that that phenomenon has been witnessed by the Congress, which he described was a mass based party, in the past and that the issue would be dealt with appropriately. 
He said that some other parties also face the same situation. He also said that the party should be free from nepotism, while responding to a question on tickets being demanded by Congress leaders to their kin. 
He further said that nobody was above the party while replying to another question on alleged threat from certain leaders.
Responding to a query on opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempt to create hype on the issues of illegal mining and corruption, he said that it was the job of opposition to create such hype. He said that the BJP cannot take high moral ground having itself failed to take action against the former Karnataka chief Minister, Mr S Yeddyurappa, and that it forced to finally act after the damning indictment by the state Lokayukta.
Stating that he had recommended the name of the newly appointed state Mahila Congress chief, Ms Cynthia D’Silva, Mr Godinho went on to add that the party wanted to make all its frontal organisations strong by appointing dynamic persons to head them and give them new directions so as to produce future leaders.
 

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Vasco KTC drivers, conductors strike work

 

VASCO: The drivers and conductors of Kadamba Transport Corporation Ltd (KTCL) attached to Vasco depot abstained from  the work for nearly an hour, on Saturday morning, to voice their protest against  the decision of the area depot manager to extend their working hours by 24 hours;  their duty working hours are presently 48 hours.
According to the KTC drivers and conductors, the manager attached to Vasco depot, Mr Chetan Prabhu ordered them to work for additional one day without taking them into confidence, on Saturday morning. 
However, the drivers and the conductors decided to strike work and they gathered at the depot thus paralyzing the work for about an hour, which inconvenienced several passengers.
According to the drivers and conductors, for the last 20 to 22 years, after they work for 48 hours, get a day off. 
The sudden decision of the area depot manager of extending their duty hours  was unjust, they felt, adding it could take a toll on  their health. 
They also alleged that the drivers and conductors are not provided with proper facilities and they have to spend a night in the barracks in a miserable condition. 
About 150 to 200 drivers and conductors participated in the strike. Looking at the situation, the area depot manager contacted the senior officials, who in turn directed him to continue with the earlier work schedule. 
Even though, the drivers and conductors resumed the work, they have threatened to go on strike if their working hours are extended   in the future.
 

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