Relief for Goa CM, no action for now | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Relief for Goa CM, no action for now

Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, who has been facing flak over mounting allegations of illegal mining, appears to have earned a temporary reprieve. Congress sources said the party high command “is unlikely to take any immediate action against Kamat merely on the basis of allegations”.

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2011 01:59 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, who has been facing flak over mounting allegations of illegal mining, appears to have earned a temporary reprieve. Congress sources said the party high command “is unlikely to take any immediate action against Kamat merely on the basis of allegations”.

“Let the guilt be proved first,” a senior Congress functionary said. The Congress high command will wait for Justice MB Shah Commission’s report on the illegal mining in the state. The panel is likely to submit its findings by October-end or the first week of November.

Sources said the division within the state unit over the continuation of Kamat as the CM came to the fore when Congress in-charge of Goa Jagmeet Brar met legislators and senior leaders seeking their views on a possible leadership change. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/041011/04-10-11-metro11.jpg

While one section was in favour of an immediate change of guard, those owing allegiance to Kamat warned against any such move. The state is going to polls next year.

While the detractors of Kamat, who has been holding the mining portfolio for the past 12 years, argued that the allegations against the chief minister and some of his colleagues will “hurt” the party in the coming elections, his loyalists pointed out that any move to dislodge him would only strengthen the opposition.

Brar, who was deputed to Goa on a fact-finding mission, handed over a detailed report to the Congress high command on Monday. He is likely to meet party president Sonia Gandhi on the issue in a day or two.

But the party at the same time will also study the report of the public accounts committee (PAC) headed by BJP leader Manohar Parrikar. “We are not going to take it lightly,” the functionary said.

The PAC is investigating the findings by the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG), who had pointed out that during the 2004-06 fiscal, 10.9 million metric tonnes of iron ore was dispatched by evading royalty.

Parrikar is going to table it in the state assembly on Wednesday.

MLAs admit to not attending PAC meets

Panaji: Goa Congress MLAs today expressed doubt over the credibility of a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report, which probed allegations of illegal mining in the state, even as some of them on the panel “admitted” to not being present at its meetings, adds PTI.

Congress MLA Fransic Silveira told reporters that he did not attend even one out of the 20 meetings held to discuss illegal iron ore mining, which is presumed to have caused a huge loss to the state exchequer. “I didn’t attend a single meet. I used to get invitations,” Silveira said.