09 Sep 2018 06:43am IST
Goa Foundation to file application to make CM respondent as well
PANJIM: After Laxmikant Parsekar’s submission to the Goa Lokayukta on the mining lease second renewals, will the focus now turn on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar?
Goa Foundation had filed a complaint before the Goa Lokayukta against former Chief Minister Parsekar and two others, demanding an investigation into the illegal second renewals of 88 iron ore mining leases in the State claiming that the renewals led to a loss of Rs 1,44,000 crore to the State exchequer.
The case takes an interesting turn as Goa Foundation has now said it would make also Parrikar party to the case based on submissions made by Parsekar.
Parsekar says the decision was taken as per the order of the High Court and with clear cut approval of the court. He also stated that though he was part of the government at that time, the mining policy was formulated and implemented by the Manohar Parrikar government.
“The allotments were done as per the guidelines of the High Court. The HC had directed the government to formulate a policy for allotment of mines. Hence a policy was drafted and was approved by cabinet ministers,” Parsekar said.
He continued, “…then it was placed before HC which was accepted and thereafter it was implemented”.
Parsekar said that right from formulation of policy to implementation everything happened when Parrikar was the Chief Minister, before he left to Delhi as Defence Minister. “...but I do not disown it, I was very much part of it as a cabinet minister. I would say nothing was wrong in policy or implementation,” he said.
Parsekar said that the renewals were again challenged in the SC which set aside the HC decision and therefore matter has come to standstill. “Where am I wrong?, the HC order, on which we had acted, is set aside by SC. Is obeying HC order wrong?” he asked, adding, “Now we are also obeying SC judgement and stopped mining.”
He clarified, “I am not involved in any wrongs. I know my conscious is clear. I have not overruled any opinion. Though CM is empowered to do it but I have not done it.”
Parsekar also took a dig at Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation for naming him in the complaint saying people who have no work can file ‘N’ number of complaints.
“Why personally target me? When I am not involved in anything. I cannot prove it to you right away as I do not have files now. But files will speak for themselves. AG never told me anything personally, whatever he has said is on the files which can be checked,” he added.
Asked why the mines were not auctioned at that time as it would bring in huge money to the treasury, Parsekar said, “Restarting mining was my priority, remember when mining was closed down for two-three years there was utter chaos. There was anger all around, especially among mining dependents. Government had started financial assistance. Despite having limitations we continued aid for 18 months to the tune of Rs 200 cr.”
Further, the former CM added, “As the head of government it was my prime responsibility to see that I was not forced to continue the disbursement. For me what was essential was to start the mines as early as possible that was then required.”
He said that being the chief minister he had to think about the mining dependents and also run the administration smoothly.