Little over a year ago, Laxmikant Parsekar was the BJP’s face as the saffron party unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections in Goa. Over a year later, Parsekar, who lost his seat in February 2017 polls, has sharpened his knife against his own party colleague and the current chief minister, Manohar Parrikar.
“How am I responsible for the renewal of the mining leases when they were done as per the state government’s policy, which was given an approval by the Bombay High Court at Goa?” PTI quoted Parsekar as saying.
The former chief Minister also added that the mining policy was formulated during the previous tenure of Manohar Parrikar as chief minister, based on the instructions of the high court.
Parsekar, who was the chief minister of Goa from November 2014 till March last year, added, “(Manohar) Parrikar had begun renewing the leases and during his tenure, eight or nine of them (leases) were already renewed.. When I took over, I followed (Manohar) Parrikar’s track.”
Parsekar, who is facing a probe in connection with the second renewal of 88 mining leases in the western coastal state, has reportedly blamed Manohar Parrikar’s previous tenure as the state chief minister for formulation of policies that allowed the renewal of 88 mining leases.
A report by PTI further said that the Goa Lokayukta had on Thursday issued notices to Parsekar and two senior government functionaries- former mines secretary Pawan Kumar Sain and current mines and geology department director Prasanna Acharya- in connection with the second renewal of 88 mining leases in 2014-15, which was quashed by the Supreme Court in February this year. The Supreme Court in its February order had banned the iron ore extraction with effect from 16 March.
The order had led to a huge unrest in the state as workers employed by iron mines had taken to streets leading to violent clashes with police in Panaji.
Meanwhile, Parsekar has demanded the fast track execution of the corruption case against him in order for the truth to come out quickly.
NGO Goa Foundation on Friday filed a complaint with the state Lokayukta, accusing former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and two mines department officials of a Rs 1.44 lakh crore illegal mining scam, reported IANS.
The Goa-based NGO, whose petition in the Supreme Court resulted in the closure of 88 mining leases in the coastal state, in its complaint to the Lokayukta has alleged that the “illegal renewal of 88 mining leases in Goa led to losses to the state government of Rs 1,44,000 crore”.
Parrikar is currently battling cancer and has had to travel to US on a few occasions for treatment.