Congress MLA walked away with draft PAC report on mining: BJP


Panaji : Goa legislative assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Manohar Parrikar Tuesday accused a Congress legislator of walking away with a draft of the PAC’s report on illegal mining, a day before it was to be tabled in the house.

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Parrikar told IANS over phone that he would be filing a breach of privilege petition before Speaker Pratapsing Rane against Congress MLA from Calangute Agnelo Fernandes, who, he said, forcibly took the report walked away.

“He (Fernandes) challenged the staff and walked away with the draft of the PAC report. It is contempt of the house. The draft copy is not meant to be taken out. If the material leaks now, it is his responsibility,” Parrikar said.

The drama occurred Tuesday afternoon when the seven PAC members met to ratify the report, but four members of the ruling coalition parties, including three Congressmen, refused to sign the report, which sources in the PAC suggested indicts illegal mining trade in Goa.

Agnelo Fernandes, Victoria Fernandes and Fransisco Silveira, along with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) legislator Pandurang Dhavalikar – all ruling benches legislators – refused to sign the draft PAC report, while BJP legislators Francisco D’Souza, Damodar Naik and PAC chairman Manohar Parrikar endorsed it.

Parrikar has said the ruling legislators’ decision not to sign the draft had no impact on the legitimacy of the PAC report. “There is nothing called minority or majority in signing the report. It does not make any difference whether a majority the members sign or not. I am submitting it to the speaker,” he said.

The PAC report is expected to be tabled during the monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly, which begins Wednesday.

Damodar Naik, member of the PAC and a spokesperson for the BJP, said that the three Congress legislators attended only two of the PAC’s 29 meetings over the past couple of years.

“There are 29 meetings held since 2009 for the formation of this report. Congress legislators have attended hardly two of them and now they are refusing to sign. It does not make sense,” Naik said.

Congress legislator Fernandes was not available for comment.