Kamat faces dissidence, but confident of budget vote
Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who holds the finance portfolio, is battling a brazen rebellion from a group of seven ruling alliance legislators, including five cabinet ministers, who have threatened not to support the state's Finance Bill during the assembly's budget session starting on Monday.india Updated: Mar 21, 2010 17:01 IST
Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who holds the finance portfolio, is battling a brazen rebellion from a group of seven ruling alliance legislators, including five cabinet ministers, who have threatened not to support the state's Finance Bill during the assembly's budget session starting on Monday.
Kamat, who heads the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)coalition ministry, is facing rebellion from the legislators who want "two demands," conveyed by NCP president Sharad Pawar to Kamat, to be met. However, Kamat said he was confident that the Finance Bill would be cleared without hitch.
The dissident group, which calls itself G-7 or group of seven, comprises three legislators from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), one Independent and one unattached legislator.
While neither Kamat nor the dissidents have explained what the "two demands" are, unconfirmed reports suggest that the NCP legislators were pushing for a large real estate deal on behalf of a union minister of the NCP that Kamat is allegedly stonewalling.
When IANS asked Goa NCP president Carmo Pegado Saturday whether clearing of the multi-crore real estate deal was one of the G-7 demands, he refused to comment.
Kamat had also refused to elaborate on the "two demands" made by the G-7, which is holding the government to ransom.
"It is a matter of politics. Why should people be told?" Kamat said. He, however, said he was confident of seeing through the financial bills, without any hardship.
Goa's 40-member assembly comprises 18 legislators from the Congress, 14 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), three from the NCP, two from the MGP, one from unattached United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP) and two Independents.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar Sunday said illegal mining and the crumbling law and order situation would feature during the budget session.
"Illegal mining is being directly sheltered by the chief minister. Several cabinet ministers are also involved in illegal mining. The government has diverted several hectares of land towards mining," Parrikar said.
"On the law and order front, you have seen the situation yourself. We will expose the Goa police links to the narcotics mafia on the floor of the house," he said.