Parrikar cautions partymen not to fall prey to false propaganda on coal and river nationalisation; Says panchayat resolutions on river nationalisation are null and void
PANJIM: The Congress party could find itself on the back foot as Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has decided to table in the House details on which government was instrumental in introducing coal handling in the State.
“I will submit in the coming Legislative Assembly Session details on how the tenders were floated, which government was in power at the time of Expression of Interest, tender and finalisation. It was the Congress, because Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) comes under the Central government and Congress was ruling then,” Parrikar said at a press conference after chairing a meeting of members of panchayats, municipalities and BJP karyakartas asking them not to fall prey to false propaganda on the coal handling and river nationalisation issues.
Stating that the then UPA government had signed an agreement in January 2014, Parrikar also came down heavily on the Congress over allegations that Adani is linked to BJP.
“I am exposing the people who are making double standard talks. They are trying to link Adani with BJP despite the fact that the order on coal handling to Adani was given by the Congress,” he said, adding that the firm had gone through a proper process of tender.
The CM went on to state that the Congress had also introduced casinos to Goa and was involved in illegalities in 2006. “Money had exchanged hands because illegalities were found. It was in 2006, they talk of giving order (approvals to projects), the dates of giving the orders are during the Congress time,” Parrikar maintained, asking the Opposition and other protesters to stop misleading the people on crucial issues.
Parrikar reiterated that the government had written to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change not to allow further coal expansion in Goa. “We oppose pollution very strongly and have also taken action to stop any idea of expansion. Steps are also taken to reduce pollution,” he said.
On the National Waterways, wherein an MoU is to be signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India, MPT and the Goa government, the CM said that a presentation will be made before all MLAs and others concerned on December 11. “The decision on signing MoU will be taken only after taking the views of the MLAs into consideration,” the CM assured.
He said that panchayat resolutions on river nationalisation are null and void while explaining that the Centre will not be the owner of Goan rivers. “It is not nationalisation of Goan rivers but declaring of our rivers as rivers of national importance,” Parrikar said adding that the Centre has agreed to Goa’s terms and conditions on the subject.
“All powers regarding rivers, be it on dredging, building jetties, will remain with us. Declaring Goan rivers as rivers of national importance and coal handling expansion in Goa are not interlinked as stated by some opposing the projects. The Centre will bear all expenses,” he said.
His briefing on Wednesday evening came after addressing grassroots public representatives regarding river nationalisation and coal handling.
BJP had convened the meeting to discuss the benefits accrued to Goa through the projects. It was decided to take steps, including awareness to curb the resolutions which were being adopted by panchayats, against the project. Party leaders Michael Lobo, Vinay Tendulkar and Sadanand Shet Tanawde who were present at the meeting asked the grassroots leaders to create awareness among the people on these two issues and the benefits for the State.