Illegal mining: Cong faced with Karnataka like situation in Goa
The Congress is mulling various options to avoid a Karnataka-like situation in Goa, where charges of illegal mining has come to haunt chief minister Digambar Kamat. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports.delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2011 23:55 IST
The Congress is mulling various options to avoid a Karnataka-like situation in Goa, where charges of illegal mining has come to haunt chief minister Digambar Kamat.
Kamat, who has been holding the mining portfolio for the past 12 years, has come under attack from both the BJP and his own partymen for the growing illegal mining in Goa.
According to rough estimates, the illegal mining in Goa is pegged between R1,200 crore and R10,000 crore. Former Goa deputy chief minister and Congress legislator Dayanand Narvekar had reportedly told the Justice MB Shah commission that the scandal is worth R10,000 crore.
Congress sources said the central leadership was “disturbed and concerned” over the allegations against the CM.
The sources said the party high command was mulling various options, including replacing Kamat with a person having a clean image, to avoid the embarrassment the BJP had to face in Karnataka.
“We don’t want to carry any baggage to next year’s assembly elections,” a senior central leader said.
Kamat along with state Congress president Subhash Shirodkar met many central leaders in Delhi on Tuesday to clarify his position.
Jagmeet Brar, party in-charge of Goa affairs, when contacted said, “Unlike the BJP, the Congress will not hesitate in taking stringent action against anybody, howsoever big, found involved in the illegal mining. There will be no compromise on corruption.”
The BJP was forced to dump its then Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa whose 38-month tenure was marked by a spate of scams which culminated with a damning indictment by a Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
BJP leader Manohar Parrikar, who is also the chairman of public accounts committee, has alleged that the illegal mining in Goa continues to exist on account of Kamat.