Power policy completes the circle

| 27 November 1998 10:10 IST

Reversing the outgoing coalition government's decision of scrapping the power policies, made by the erstwhile Congress government, seems to be the prime task on the agenda set by newly sworn in Congress government led by Luizinho Faleiro.

"I will maintain the power policies set by my party leaders during its initial rule of three and a half years", says Faleiro. It included the open sky policy, allowing any private party to generate and sell power without bringing the government into picture and also transmission and distribution privatisation.

"They have come to power on power policy", quips outgoing chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza, linking it to the earlier allegation that two mining houses, along with the Reliance Industries, have played major role in dislodging his government.

While de Souza maintained the policy of privatisation of power generation, including the one set up by the Reliance Salgaoncar Pvt Ltd, he scrapped both the policies in which the RSPL was interested in, including reportedly taking over the whole transmission and distribution set-up.

Local BJP leader Manohar Parrikar, who had exposed selfish motives behind both the power policies of the Congress government, announced that his party would oppose reversal of the power policy tooth and nail since it is ill-conceived.

Faleiro has also reacted sharply to de Souza's decision to provide more teeth to the CBI, stating that he would prefer more efficient state machinery than the CBI. But de Souza, instead of reacting, prefers to wait and watch the outcome of five cases he has handed over to the CBI.

According to de Souza, dissension within his Goa Rajiv Congress sparked off due to his action of handing over five corruption cases to the CBI, along with a strong evidence against some people who revolted and joined hands with the Congress to topple his four-month old government.

Meanwhile, Faleiro has decided to seek vote of confidence of motion on Monday morning, soon after which he would also expand his cabinet. He is leaving for Delhi tomorrow to seek party president Sonia Gandhi's blessings.

The government may scrape through even with a razor-thin majority of 20 excluding the speaker as both the independents are being assured cabinet berths. The coalition of 19, on the other hand, has decided to remain united, electing de Souza as the opposition leader.

Announcing the decision, de Souza predicted early polls as the Congress government would not last long due to internal conflicts which have already begun over ministerial positions and portfolios. "In that case, the coalition would face polls together", he said.

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