The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday hailed the findings of the Justice Shah Commission report on illegalities and irregularities in Goa’s mining industry. The report was tabled by the Centre in Parliament. The party demanded that the Centre file a First Information Report (FIR) against all the former ministers and officials of Goa’s Mines Ministry, and those responsible for these illegalities.
Speaking to the media here, BJP Goa unit president Laxmikant Parsekar read out parts of the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry report which blamed the former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for failing to regulate and control mining in his capacity as Minister for Mines, and demanded that all Ministers and officials concerned be held accountable and investigated.
Pointing out that the ministers concerned even prior to Mr. Kamat’s rule, including the former Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane, should also be held responsible for allowing expired leases to be renewed by condoning the delay in filing renewal applications, Mr. Parsekar said that this was done despite the fact that the State government had no right to allow this to happen. He said that an FIR should be filed and all of them should be tried for cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption.
Mr. Parsekar said that the Shah Commission report had vindicated the findings of the Goa Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on illegal mining. The PAC was then headed by the present Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Mr. Parsekar recalled that the PAC report was not accepted by the House during the Congress rule but was now proved correct in pointing to the large scale illegalities and irregularities in mining.
Chief Minister Parrikar indicated that he would request the Centre to refer the findings of the Shah Commission to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a comprehensive probe and in case it did not happen, he would refer the findings to the Crime Branch of the State police.
When contacted for his reaction, Mr. Kamat told The Hindu that he was yet to read the report and would not like to comment till he did so.
“I am yet to read the report, let them [BJP] say whatever they want to [say]. I would not react at this stage,” he said over the phone.
Mr. Kamat, incidentally, has been nominated Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Goa Legislature by the Speaker at the end of the recently concluded monsoon session.