Satya Pal Malik's ‘corruption' remark ignites Oppn attack on Goa's Pramod Sawant

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Satya Pal Malik’s ‘corruption’ remark ignites Oppn attack on Goa’s Pramod Sawant
© Provided by Hindustan Times Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik‘s remarks on Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant come as a huge setback to the ruling BJP in the coastal state that was trying to (Sanjeev Verma/HT File PHOTO)

PANAJI: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday evening came under a piercing attack from opposition parties in the state who demanded the chief minister step down, citing Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik’s remarks that he saw first hand “corruption in everything the Goa government was handling”.

Malik was Goa governor from November 2019 to August 2020 before he was sent to Meghalaya’s Raj Bhavan.

“I am a Lohia-ite. I get very angry when it comes to corruption. I do not take it kindly. On the day when the lockdown was announced, the government said that even the stores selling basic essentials would not be allowed to open but that they would supply door to door. Which was impossible, but there was one company that had given money. Then people from the Congress, others approached me and told me about it. So I informed the Prime Minister,” Satya Pal Malik said in an interview to India Today TV.

He also said, “There was corruption in the Goa government in handling everything. because of that I was sent away from there”.

Chief minister Pramod Sawant hasn’t spoken yet on the former Goa governor’s comments but the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) defended him, saying Malik’s statements were ‘misinformed’.

“Governor Satyapal Malik has erred in his statements. We will bring this to the notice of the central leadership,” Goa BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said.

In his interview, Malik also frowned at Pramod Sawant’s handling of the lockdown, and recalled how he spoke against the Sawant government’s “unnecessary” plan to build a new Raj Bhavan in Goa.

Goa’s opposition parties rushed to demand that Pramod Sawant step down. Congress leader and leader of Opposition in the assembly Digambar Kamat said Sawant has “no moral right to continue” after the governor’s indictment.

Hon’ble Governor Satya Pal Malik Ji always stood for the People of Goa. He spoke the truth & completely exposed corrupt @BJP4Goa @GovtofGoa. @goacm has no moral right to continue in power after revelations made by a Constitutional Head. @DrPramodPSawant must resign immediately. pic.twitter.com/Ro0uTdnntw

— Digambar Kamat (@digambarkamat) October 25, 2021

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar said Malik’s comments “vindicated” the Congress’ charge of “BJP making ‘Business of people’s sickness’ during Covid pandemic”

Thank you Hon’ble Governor Satya Pal Malikji.Goa will always remain indebted to you for your candid admission of corrupt regime of @BJP4Goa @goacm @PramodGoa. U have vindicated @INCGoa’s charge of BJP making “Business fr People’s Sickness” during CovidPandemic. ⁦@PMOIndia⁩ pic.twitter.com/tzvDkRCUOd

— Girish Chodankar (@girishgoa) October 25, 2021

The Trinamool Congress’ parliamentary leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien, whose party is attempting to establish its presence in the state ahead of the state elections early next year, gave the chief minister 72 hours to resign. He also demanded a judicial inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe all the corruption allegations.

“‘A Governor appointed by the BJP has made an explosive statement that the Goa Government and the Chief Minister of Goa run a corrupt government in every sphere, whether it was roads or COVID,” Derek O’Brien said.

 

Malik last week accused former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti of being a beneficiary of the now-scrapped Roshni Scheme, which aimed to grant proprietary rights to occupants of state land, provoking the Peoples Democratic Party president to threaten to sue him.

Malik said the Roshni Act, originally called the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership Rights to the Occupants) Act, 2001, was introduced by the Farooq Abdullah government promising that the funds accrued giving ownership rights to the unauthorised occupants of state land will be used to improve the electricity situation in the erstwhile state.

“The electricity situation did not improve but plots were given to Farooq Abdullah, his son and Mehbooba… I cancelled the allotments and constituted an inquiry,” Malik, who served as Jammu and Kashmir governor before being moved to Goa, said.

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