Lokayukta order only reconfirms that govt is controlled by mining lobby says AAP

Gomantak Times
Thursday, 23 January 2020

"It reconfirms the extent to which the elected government was controlled by the mining lobby. Successive governments in Goa, whether of BJP or of Congress, have been birthed in five-star hotels owned by mining lobby heavyweights, for obvious reasons." Pradeep Padgaonkar, AAP General Secy
 

PANAJI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday stated that the order by the Goa Lokayukta to file an FIR against former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and others comes as no surprise, as the illegally extended leases were already cancelled by the Supreme Court. However, it reconfirms the extent to which the elected government was controlled by the mining lobby. Successive governments in Goa, whether of BJP or of Congress, have been birthed in five-star hotels owned by mining lobby heavyweights, for obvious reasons, alleged AAP general secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar.
Padgaonkar said that, despite umpteen opportunities to reform the mining industry under the guidance of the Supreme Court judgements, the BJP government (and before it, the Congress regime) continued to make illegal decisions in favour of its mining lobby friends and because of this complete capitulation by elected leaders, today not only were the mining dependents suffering but also the State was in serious financial crunch.

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Padgaonkar reminded that the AAP, free from the clutches of the mining lobby, had promised in its 2017 elections manifesto to immediately set up the Goa Mineral Development Corporation. Had this been done by the Goa government in 2012 itself, today the government wouldn’t be finding itself at the mercy of high interest loans and meagre casino revenue to fulfil even basic requirements.
AAP spokesperson Valmiki Naik also raised the issue of the powers of the Lokayukta itself. Reminding that the AAP was a product of the Lokpal/Lokayukta movement of 2011-2012, he recalled the year-long struggle against former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar’s consistent attempts to weaken and dilute the institution. AAP had fought for more independence and more powers including investigation and prosecution for the Lokayukta.
Instead, today the Lokayukta has become just a paper tiger and none of its reports and recommendations had been taken seriously in the many cases of corruption such as CyberAge scam, MLA Assets disclosure etc. It is no wonder that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had already dismissed the Lokayukta report on mining as “not binding” on the government, Naik pointed out.

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