Panaji: Amid demand for early resumption of mining in Goa, a comment on a social networking site by a senior mines official has sparked a debate with main Opposition Congress alleging that it has brought to light the double standards of the government on the mining issue.
State Mines and Geology Department Director Prasanna Acharya, without naming anyone, posted on his Facebook page last week, "Please do not bluff to a person who knows the truth. Do not treat silence as acceptance of the bluff by the other person as truth. You are decreasing your face value by bluffing. I am just expressing my feelings after listening to a bluff master who might have thought that I believed in his bluff as I remained silent after listening to his bluffs."
Reacting to the comment, Goa Congress unit spokesman Aleixo Reginald said yesterday that this confirms their allegations that "Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, under whose guidance Acharya has been working, is a double-faced person because of which the upright government officer had to vent out his frustration through the social networking website."
"He may have been pressurised by the government not to take action against those mining companies involved in illegal mining. We can see his outburst on the Facebook. That was his instant reaction out of frustration," Reginald alleged.
However, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar rubbished allegations of political pressure against Acharya.
"The officer is under no political pressure and has been given free hand in the mining matter," Parrikar told reporters here last evening.
Acharya had asked for a long leave as he has to complete some training which was refused by the state government, the Chief Minister said.
"We refused to grant him leave because at this stage as it is not possible," he said.
Goa is representing its case in Supreme Court over the temporary closure of mining leases in the state since last year, which has affected almost 25 per cent of the population.