New Delhi, Oct 26: The AAP Tuesday demanded “immediate” removal of Pramod Sawant as Goa chief minister after the state’s former governor Satya Pal Malik alleged corruption in the government and claimed he was shifted to Meghalaya for raising the issue.
Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik told a TV news channel that there was corruption in government “in everything” when he was the governor of the state and that he was shifted to Meghalaya for raising the issue.
The party also demanded a judicial probe into the allegations of corruption levelled by Malik, now the governor of Meghalaya, against the BJP government in Goa under Sawant.
In an interview to new channel India Today on Monday, Malik said, “There was corruption in Goa government in handling of everything. I was removed because I raised the issue. I am a Lohiaite; I have spent time with Charan Singh. I can’t tolerate corruption.”
Malik served as the governor of Goa from November 3, 2019 to August 18, 2020 before the Centre shifted him to Meghalaya as governor.
“Perhaps for the first time in independent India’s history, a sitting governor appointed by the Centre has exposed a sitting BJP chief minister’s corruption,” Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha told a press conference.
“We demand that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant immediately resign. He has no right to now continue as the chief minister of the state. We also demand that an independent judicial probe be conducted into the entire episode of corruption by chief minister Sawant and his government,” he said.
On Malik’s claim that he was shifted to Meghayala from Goa for raising the issue of corruption, the AAP leader also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “Modi ji removed the one from the post who brought corruption in Goa government to light, instead of removing the corrupt chief minister.”
The prime minister should immediately dismiss Sawant as Goa chief minister following Malik’s “sensational expose” on corruption in the state government, the AAP leader demanded.
In his interview to the news channel, Malik also said the Goa government’s plan of door-to-door distribution of ration was “impossible”.
“It was done on the insistence of a company that paid money to the government. I was asked by people, including those from the Congress to investigate. I probed the matter and informed the prime minister about it,” he said.
“They asked the same people who were behind the plan about the allegation. They won’t accept that they are in the wrong. There is an area near the airport from where trucks were used for mining pass. I asked the government to stop them in view of the Covid. The government didn’t and then it became a hotspot for Covid,” he said.
Latching on to Malik’s claim, Chadha took a dig at Prime Minister. “He (Modi) is the same person who had once said ‘Na Khaoonga, Na Khane Doonga’ (would not take bribes, nor let anyone do so).
“Now their chief ministers get a free pass to make money through loot and corruption as much as they can. The people of Goa will not tolerate the corruption of the chief minister of the state and his government anymore,” Chadha said.
“If the prime minister does not dismiss Sawant as chief minister of Goa and if the BJP does not take any action against its government in Goa, it will be accepted that some where the BJP’s central leadership is also involved in the Goa government’s corruption and a share of it reached to them,” he charged.
The AAP leader alleged that Congress-led UPA government and their chief ministers made a lot of money through corruption during their regime and same is the case with the BJP and its chief ministers.
“There is just one difference in the BJP regime. The BJP governments and their ministers have streamlined the corruption and carried it forward in an organised and sophisticated manner with much discipline,” he added. (PTI)