Panaji: The Goa Assembly was adjourned for the fourth day Friday over the detention of state Education Minister Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate last week by Mumbai airport customs for allegedly carrying foreign exchange worth crores of rupees.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators, who had tied black kerchiefs around their mouths, forced Speaker Pratapsingh Rane to adjourn the proceedings by insisting on a discussion on Monserrate`s conduct.
"We have come wearing black kerchiefs across the mouth because we are not being allowed to discuss important issues in this assembly. This minister`s behaviour has to be discussed in the house. What is the point in continuing with the session if such issues are not taken up," Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said.
The BJP has already dubbed Monserrate a "mini Hasan Ali" after the Pune-based alleged money launderer, and said that he could be laundering the monies of several ministers and politicians from Goa.
"He could be a conduit for parking money from ministers and politicians abroad. He is a mini Hasan Ali...a Babush Ali," Parrikar said Tuesday, after staging a walkout from the Assembly.
Parrikar also said that the Goa government was a government "of smugglers, for smugglers, by smugglers".
The BJP had Thursday claimed that the minister was intimidating witnesses in a criminal case against him, which was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Quoting media reports from Mumbai, Parrikar said that the CBI had filed an application with the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of an arson and assault case against Monserrate, because "witnesses were being threatened".
"The country`s premier investigative agency has said that witnesses are being intimidated...are there any honourable members in this house anymore, I am beginning to wonder. Smugglers are honourable members?" he said.