New Delhi, Oct 26: The Congress on Tuesday latched on to former Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik’s reported comments alleging corruption by the BJP-led state government during the Covid pandemic and demanded a time-bound investigation under the supervision of a sitting Supreme Court judge into the charges.
At a press conference, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and AICC Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundurao demanded that the Modi government dismiss Pramod Sawant as the chief minister.
They said Malik, Governor of Meghalaya and ex-governor of Goa (Oct 2019 – August 2020) and Jammu and Kashmir (August 2018 to October 2019), accepted what the Congress has been saying that there was “corruption in everything Goa government was handling”.
Malik had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the corruption, but no action was initiated, Surjewala said, adding that instead, Malik was transferred from Goa to Meghalaya.
Surjewala said that in a TV interview, Malik had made a “shocking revelation” that, on the day when lockdown was announced, the Goa government had not allowed stores selling basic essentials to open but allowed one company to sell them door to door as it had “given money” to the Goa government.
Surjewala said that Malik has acknowledged that after the Congress informed him about it, he in turn informed the prime minister, but instead of removing a “corrupt BJP government”, he transferred the governor.
Malik has further alleged that the Goa government had allowed mining trucks to illegally operate during the coronavirus pandemic, which turned out to be a spreader of Covid in Goa, Surjewala said.
AICC Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundurao alleged that the prime minister was “directly protecting” corrupt people by not acting even after the then governor told him about the corruption that was happening.
Surjewala and Gundurao demanded that the Modi government act and immediately dismiss the chief minister and the entire council of ministers of the Goa government who were directly, indirectly “involved in such massive corruption”, and that too in the middle of pandemic.
They also demanded constituting a time-bound investigation under the supervision of a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court to find out “what all other areas of governance Goa government are involved in corrupt practices”.
The Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation, Serious Fraud Investigation Office and other agencies should be directed to file a case against the Goa chief minister and all others involved in corruption, they said.
The Congress leaders said the prime minister should come out and answer why no action was initiated against the chief minister when the governor had informed him about the “corruption” by the state government.
When Malik ji had informed the PM about the corruption in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) he was transferred from J&K to Goa and when he informed about the corruption in Goa, he was transferred from Goa to Meghalaya. They said.
Is the proper and correct meaning of double engine government is double engine of corruption, the leaders asked. (PTI)