Willy brings Goa under CBI net

| 05 December 1998 23:27 IST

Goa, the state known for all sorts of political upheavals involving economic interest of greedy politicians, is coming under the CBI net for the first time. Former chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza has submitted five scandals to the CBI, suspecting involvement of three ministers and one former minister.

In fact de Souza suspects that his act of handing over these cases to the CBI is one of the prime reasons for pulling down his three and a half month-old coalition government by engineering defections within his Goa Rajiv Congress. Four among the ten had re-defected to join the Congress.

One of these defectors is Dayanand Narvekar, who is now the deputy chief minister. Two scandals of irrigation department, handled by him till date right from the Pratapsing Rane's Congress regime, are being handed over to the CBI.

"Dr Willy is simply beating around the bushes to take political revenge", reacts narvekar. He claims that none of the irrigation tenders were cleared by him but the works advisory board consisting of the chief secretary, the finance secretary, the irrigation secretary and chief engineer, irrigation. "Let the truth come out", he quips.

Rane, allegedly at Narvekar's behest, had succeeded in withdrawing powers of the CBI investigating into the state matters and restricting it only for the matters pertaining to the central administration in the state. De Souza however later reversed the decision, bringing the state administration under its purview once again.

"The CBI has come to stay. But I would prefer activating the state machinery rather than depending on the central agency", says Faleiro, the newly sworn in Congress chief minister. Describing it as witch-hunting, he alleges that de Souza's action is politically motivated.

One of the cases also involves Faleiro, who was holding industries portfolio during Rane regime, pertaining to mismanagement and suspected political favouritism in the state-run Goa Antibiotics Pvt Ltd. "They have created these scandals, not me", quips de Souza, dismissing Faleiro's allegation of witch-hunting.

One of these cases also suspects involvement of independent MLA Victoria Fernandes, who is now an influential minister in the Congress government. Her son Rudolph, having a criminal background in the past, is allegedly involved in getting a piece of land fraudulently transferred to one party, owned originally by Daman-based smuggler Sukur Narain Bakhia.

"Why to fear about the case when my hands are clean", asks Fernandes, dismissing the allegation that she is involved in the alleged matter. "It is an attempt to malign my clean image because I did not support Dr Willy's government at crucial hours", she alleges.

De Souza has also handed over the infamous power rebate case to the CBI while the local police department has also completed most of the investigations, in which former power minister Mauvin Godinho is involved. Though he has been kept out of the cabinet due to the same case, he has been reportedly assured of slowing down the police investigations.

Godinho however made a dramatic statement in the Assembly, claiming that he refused to accept the ministerial berth though the high command had given green signal. "I will not hold any public post till I am cleared in the case", says Godinho.

Though handing over these cases has created waves in the local political circles, the central vigilance commission is yet to decide who would ultimately investigate into it. Even after de Souza succeeding in getting more teeth to the local CBI office, the office staff is still ill-equipped with the Mumbai-based SP holding additional charge of Goa office.

While one full-fledged SP is expected to be deputed here through promotion, de Souza is now planning to pursue the matter with the union home minister L K Advani, using his good offices with the BJP central leaders. The local BJP unit is still part of his coalition here.

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