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TMC Brings Corruption Charges On Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

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Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): The Trinamool Congress brought some serious charges of corruption against Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant, while former MLA and current Goa Forward Party working president Kiran Kandolkar along with wife Kavita joined the Goa TMC on Saturday..

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) Krishnanagar MP Mahua Moitra, who has been recently made the state in-charge of Goa brought the charges of corruption and graft against the chief minister at a press meet in Panjim on Friday.

Moitra questioned how a chief minister, who used to be employed as a government ayurveda doctor before becoming the chief minister could amass wealth to buy a mine in his name.

She said, for mining in Goa, options for renewing the lease is no longer possible after the Supreme Court ruling halting all renewals. After the Manohar Parrikar government came into power, opinions were taken from both the state Advocate General as well as Attorney General of India KK Venugopal and former AG, Harish Salve on starting mining in the state.

According to Moitra both outrightly opined for auctions. When Pramod Sawant took over as CM of Goa, he said he will get mining started in the state within three months. “It has now been three years and there has been no mining in Goa, Moitra said.

Pointing out at a set of printouts, Moitra said the letter dated November 7, 2019 mentions that Pramod Sawant owned a mine. “The letter is from the office of the regional deputy director of Maharashtra and mentions approval of a modified mining plan to Dr Pandurang Sawant, housing Board Bicholim, North Goa. The mine is located in village Talekhol in district Sindhudurg. Pramod Sawant, as CM of Goa has got a mine in his name in Sindhudurg,” revealed Moitra.

She went on to add how Sawant became the chief minister. “Sawant was not even meant to be the CM. The BJP candidate at that time was Shripad Naik. Certain unsavory information was available with Naik about Satish Dhond. He worked with Vijay Sardesai, with an independent MLA and with the MGP to make sure that Naik does not become chief minister. Sawant then becomes the CM.”

“Sawant used to be an ayurvedic doctor working with the central government. From where did he get the money to buy a mine in his name? I will ask PM Modi to immediately do a CBI inquiry into disproportionate assets of a sitting CM.”

“Sawant has got a company called Ganesh Traders. He was vice-chairman of the GSIDC and later became the chairman too. There has been widespread corruption. Mining has not started by auctions, the way it should have been, instead illegal mining is on with large corporations in Goa and a UK based fly-by-night operator,” pointed out Moitra.

“The time has come for Goans to ask questions and the TMC is a platform for it,” Moitra said.

Also, pointing out the Mahadayi water dispute, she accused CM Sawant of working out a deal with Karnataka in diverting water.

She also alleged that Pramod Sawant had worked out a deal with Karnataka, allowing the latter to get more water from the Mahadayi river.

In the fight for water at the inter-state water dispute tribunal, Karnataka lost and only got 7.5 TMC of water. “But, after Sawant became CM of Goa, he immediately notified this award and Karnataka started getting much more water than they were supposed to,” she alleged.    

Goa Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Urfan Mulla rubbishing all the allegations on the chief minister, said, “The popularity of CM Pramod Sawant in Goa is very high and the Trinamool Congress knows that. These allegations are all baseless and false.”