Kejriwal takes on Parrikar over corruption, illegal mining

Panaji, May 22 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party convenor — and Delhi Chief Minister — Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the ruling BJP of “cheating” the Goan electorate and failing to nail mining magnates accused in the Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam.

He also pitched his Aam Aadmi Party as a political option to Goa’s voters who, he said, were tired of corruption by successive Congress and BJP governments.

Addressing a well attended public rally here, Kejriwal launched a frontal attack on Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister, and accused him of running the state government by proxy.

“Even today, Parrikar is running this (state) government. He runs the Goa government while sitting in Delhi. He clears all the files over the weekend. This is only a puppet government,” Kejriwal said.

“Parrikar cheated you because he promised action against those involved in Goa’s Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam, but failed to deliver.

“He also promised to get rid the state of the casino industry but his government (in the state) did not fulfil that promise too… They are all the same,” the AAP leader said.

The assembly elections in the coastal state are likely to be held in January next year.

“I saw anger against corruption among the people of Delhi before the assembly elections there. I see the same anger in the people of Goa now as they are disgusted with corruption,” said Kejriwal.

The AAP convenor also questioned why Parrikar as chief minister of Goa could not crack down against corruption as the AAP government had in Delhi.

Kejriwal also slammed the Goa government of Laxmikant Parsekar for de-recognising coconut palm as a tree and for allowing casinos to continue to operate in Goa.

“Goa has a beautiful and rich culture. Sex, drugs and gambling tourism is not Goa’s culture. The Congress had reduced Goa’s tourism to this. The BJP is also doing the same thing. Goans want people to come for tourism, to see beaches and natural beauty,” Kejriwal said.

Parrikar joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in 2014-end.

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