Mauvin's ouster imminent ?

| 04 July 1998 10:23 IST

Knocking out power minister Mauvin Godinho seems imminent for chief minister Pratapsing Rane with the opposition raising hue and cry over the multi-crore power scandal in the ongoing Assembly session while the high court has hauled up the Congress government for the power crisis in the tourist state.

The opposition parties have been disrupting the House proceedings of the monsoon session that began since Monday, demanding power minister's resignation. He is allegedly involved in a power rebate scandal and has also been charged for being responsible for worst ever power situation in the tourist state.

After raising the pandemonium every day at the beginning of the session, members of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party even boycotted the question hour once, refusing to listen to Godinho. They are now further planning a strategy for 15th July, the day for demands for grants on power.

The whole issue has taken a dramatic turn with the chief secretary, in an affidavit before the high court, has blamed the power minister for restoring power connection to Mormugao Steel Industry, in violation of the high court order. Its dues are now nearing Rs 10 crore.

The matter of illegal power rebate to the tune of Rs 50 crore to several power guzzling units as well as non-recovery of dues amounting over Rs 30 crore is presently being heard before the Goa bench of Mumbai high court.

Manohar Parrikar, the BJP MLA, had publicly exposed the power rebate scandal recently. Fearing public outcry, the cabinet then refused to ratify the illegal notification Godinho had issued in '96, granting power rebate to the power guzzling units.

Following this, the high court has now banned release of any new power connection except to the domestic consumer or public utility service while also restricting use of public lighting and illumination. The tourist state is presently facing acute power shortage resulting in repeated load shedding and shut downs.

Kashinath Jalmi, the state opposition leader, has announced that boycott of the power minister would continue till he resigns. Former chief minister Shashikala Kakodkar, belonging to the MGP, has called Rane a spineless chief minister for not taking any action against his cabinet colleague.

It however appears that the affidavit filed by the chief secretary had blessings of Rane, who is systematically preparing a case for his colleague's inevitable ouster. He seems to be also under heavy pressure from the whole bureaucracy, which has refused to oblige the power minister any more.

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