George's assets with Nirmala ?

| 14 September 2001 22:37 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister Manohar Parrikar has now made a startling allegation that Vincent George, secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has transferred his disproportionate assets partly to at least three local Congress leaders in Goa.

"One of them is Goa PCC president Nirmala Sawant", he alleges, claiming that names of all these three leaders figure in the preliminary report prepared by the Central Bureau of Investigations.

Furious Sawant has vehemently denied the allegation, while challenging him to prove the allegation or resign. "If it is proved, I am prepared to resign", she said at a hurriedly called press conference today evening.

Parrikar however did not wish to elaborate in what manner George has transferred his disproportionate assets to these leaders or where the money is invested into. "I do not have all the details", he said.

Sawant however describes it as an irresponsible statement made by irresponsible chief minister, out of panic that his nine-month old government may collapse any moment. "The lava is already boiling and it may erupt any moment", she predicts.

Rumours are being spread practically every day for the last one week here that either the government has fallen or preparations are underway to topple the BJP government. Parrikar had formed the government in November last year by engineering defections within the Congress.

Nine former Congress ministers including Sawant as well as former chief minister Francisco Sardinha also met Governor Mohammed Fazal yesterday, complaining that Parrikar is blatantly abusing power and misusing police machinery to harass his opponents, especially the Congressmen.

After he came to power, Parrikar managed to arrest at least three Congress ex-ministers in three different scams within a month. Congress leaders now claim that the police had clamped down as some BJP members had agreed to split and join hands with them to form the government.

Following this, Mauvin Godinho, one of the scam masters, was freshly indicted in a case of disproportionate assets last week. Sawant has been the next target. "It is purely to malign image of me and the Congress", she claims.

According to the PCC chief, who is also the legislator, there is no question of her name figuring in CBI probe in connection with George's alleged disproportionate assets since no such relation exists. "That is why I call it political", she added.

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