Times of India | 1 week ago | 13-05-2022 | 01:02 am
Panaji: Leader of the opposition Michael Lobo on Thursday said that the government, particularly the town and country planning (TCP) department is deliberately targeting him and harassing him. Lobo’s allegations come a day after TCP minister Vishwajit Rane said that the Parra-Arpora-Nagoa outline development plans (ODPs) have shocking irregularities. Lobo, who was the former North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) chairman, said that the ODPs have become a victim of BJP’s “vindictive politics” that is playing out in Goa. “He is personally targeting me, which is not right in politics. I was a businessman before I could become an MLA. It is nothing but vindictive politics and I have spoken to the CM about this,” the opposition leader said. He said that it has become natural for the government of the day to target the opposition, but the common man and businessmen face the fallout of the government’s pressure tactics. “Rane is the minister; he’s free to do whatever he wants to do with regards to the ODP of Arpora-Nagoa and Parra but how many times are we going to look at this? Are you going to haunt them? How many people are you going to haunt?” Lobo said. On Wednesday, Rane took to Twitter to announce that TCP’s scrutiny committee has identified irregularities in the ODPs of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Candolim-Calangute. He also said that a former NGPDA chairman violated norms by getting his own land converted. Rane said that the irregularities identified could lead to prosecution under the Prevention and Corruption Act for using public office for personal gains. Rane has already directed the TCP department to suspend all the ODPs Trying to distance himself from the irregularities, Lobo said that all planning and policy decisions regarding ODPs were taken collectively by a committee comprising town planners, deputy planners and other stakeholders. He said that if the BJP government has adopted a policy to “throw out” whatever earlier governments have done. “All this was done by the same BJP government. Whatever they want to do now they can do,” Lobo said.
Vasco: Revolutionary Goans (RG) and BJP are engaged claiming credit for getting locals employment at the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL). Even as RG said that GSL has assured them of giving jobs to Goans, Vasco BJP MLA Krishna ‘Daji’ Salkar and BJP functionaries stated that it was their efforts that played a major role in highlighting the employment issue. On Wednesday, RG’s Tukaram ‘Manoj’ Parab and St Andre MLA Viresh Borkar met the management of GSL to discuss the matter of employment opportunities for Goans. Parab and Borkar said that the shipyard’s management has assured them to give priority to recruiting Goans. They said that, according to available information, over 600 jobs had opened up at GSL, but only 30% Goans were employed. In other central government shipyards in other states, local people with knowledge of the local language are given preference during recruitment, but at GSL this is not happening, RG said. Parab and Borkar also stressed on the need for imparting training in technical skill to Goan youth. Meanwhile, the Vasco MLA posted on his official social media page: “Grateful to chief minister Goa Pramod P Sawant for calling this meeting on our request with T N Sudhakar CMD (addl charge) and HR head Goa Shipyard Ltd to address long-pending issues pertaining to local employment.”
Margao: Trinamool Congress Goa desk incharge Kirti Azad said on Tuesday that the party would form the government in Goa in the next five years following the next state assembly elections. Responding to queries posed by reporters over its dismal performance in the last state assembly elections, Azad exuded confidence of the party gaining strength in the state. “We are going to do it. Everything will be in place. Rome was not built in a day,” he said. Pointing out that the TMC polled 8.7% votes in the last elections, Azad said, that the party’s performance was “800 times better” than that of Congress and BJP in their first few elections in Goa. “If you compare it to what BJP did in the first three elections and what Congress did in the first four elections, you will find that we have done 800 times better than them. They couldn’t even get 1% vote share,” he said. Azad was appointed as its Goa desk incharge of the party after its state president Kiran Kandolkar as well as senior functionaries of the party resigned from their posts soon after the state assembly elections. When asked to comment on the exodus of party workers, Azad said, “Good riddance. I wish them all the best for what they have done. At least we know who stands with us. Those who are going to be with us are not opportunists.” The cricketer-turned politician, however, chose not to respond to questions over whether the TMC would back candidates in the upcoming panchayat polls.
Margao: Freedom fighter Gopal Narayan Chitari, a resident of Cuncolim, passed away Friday morning. He was 87. The final rites were performed Friday evening. Chitari had participated in Goa’s freedom movement. A teacher by profession, Chitari was the recipient of the President's Award. In a conversation with TOI ahead of Goa’s liberation Day in December 2021, Chitari had expressed his disappointment over the state of affairs of Goa’s politics. “This isn’t the freedom we gave our blood and tears for,” he had said. “I sometimes wonder if we have really achieved freedom in the real sense of the term.” Commenting on political defections with scant regard to political ideologies, Chitari had said: “Democracy has been reduced to a mockery, as it’s difficult to identify who belongs to the ruling dispensation and who is from the opposition side.” Chief minister Pramod Sawant in his condolence message said that Chitari’s “immense contribution in Goa's Liberation struggle will always be remembered.” Cuncolim MLA Yuri Alemao said Chitari’s passing was “a huge loss to the historical village of Cuncolim.” “People of Cuncolim will miss his valuable advice and guidance,” Alemao said. Margao MLA Digambar Kamat also expressed his sorrow over Chitari’s death.
Panaji: The public spat between opposition leader Michael Lobo and town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane continued, with Rane telling the Calangute MLA to stop playing the victim card over the probe into the outline development plans (ODPs). Rane said that a “detailed investigation” will be launched into conversion of land when the Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Calangute-Candolim ODPs were formulated, after which legal action will be initiated. A day earlier, Lobo had accused Rane and the BJP of hounding and targeting the opposition. “I would like to mention to the leader of the opposition that using public office for personal gains is not acceptable. He should refrain from playing the victim,” said Rane. Rane also said that all eco-sensitive land that was illegally converted will be reverted back to its original state. On Wednesday, Rane took to Twitter to announce that TCP’s scrutiny committee has identified irregularities in the ODPs of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Candolim-Calangute. Rane also said that a former NGPDA chairman violated norms by getting their own land converted. Lobo refuted Rane’s allegations and said that Rane is engaging in “vindictive politics” by suspending the ODPs and by pointing fingers at Lobo. “Let’s wait for the report to come out, survey by survey, the report will be shared with the citizens of the state of Goa,” said Rane. He said that Lobo’s attempts to shift the blame “authenticates the fact that there are a lot of wrongdoings” in Calangute-Candolim and the Parra-Nagoa-Parra.
Calangute: Leader of the opposition MLA Michael Lobo said he is not under any pressure to stop criticising the BJP-led government. Asked why he is keeping quiet about the government functioning, Lobo said they have decided to give the government some time. “It’s not that we are keeping quiet. The government has just been formed. To criticise a government which is there because they won (the election) is not right. We have decided to give the government a couple of months, to see what they’re going to do. The assembly session is coming up next month, we will see then,” he said told reporters at Calangute on Thursday. Lobo said that Congress has been raising issues like the rise in prices of essential items like fuel, cooking gas and food items. “We had given a memorandum when LPG prices went up. These issues concern us all, irrespective of which party we belong to. Even BJP workers should raise these issues,” the leader of the opposition said.