Willy orders inquiry into Narvekar's letter to PM

| 12 October 1998 11:52 IST

A letter written by Goa planning minister Dayanand Narvekar to the centre, accusing prime minister Atel Bihari Vajpayee of treating Goa as Delhi's colony and neglecting its financial woes, has created a flutter in the coalition government here, which is supported by the BJP from outside.

Reacting strongly to the unilateral action of his colleague holding second position in the cabinet, chief minister Wilfred de Souza has ordered inquiry into the act of indiscipline, which, he feels, has deliberately been committed to create a rift between him and the BJP.

Narvekar, who was among the ten Congressmen who split from the Pratapsing Rane government, has been trying all methods to embarrass de Souza since he was not allotted the crucial portfolios of the PWD and finance. He has been also trying hard to head the Congress government, by once again splitting the Goa Rajiv Congress, which had split from the Congress earlier.

This action however has angered Dr Willy, fearing that all his lobbying for a one-time central grant of Rs 150 crore would go waste due to the letter. After getting a sympathetic nod from Vajpayee, he was now planning to personally meet finance minister Yeshwant Sinha in this regard.

Narvekar has accused the centre for giving pittance to Goa despite the tourist state contributing around Rs 2000 crore in terms of foreign exchange and Rs 200 crore as the central tax collection. The assistance is reduced to Rs 60 crore from Rs 110 crore granted in 1991-92, he adds.

While Narvekar has warned to wage a state-wide agitation if the same attitude continues, de Souza has now clarified that the state government is not protesting against the centre. With state treasury going dry, he hopes the centre would oblige him by releasing the grants as soon as possible.

The issue has taken a serious turn since no funds are available for developmental works with any department. As pressure is mounting on Dr Willy to drop Narvekar from the cabinet, the three-party co-ordination committee is expected to meet shortly to decide about the issue.

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