'Can't close casinos'
Half the 'babus' will go to jail if scams are probed: Goa CM
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday half the government officials in the state administration would go behind bars if the "scams committed during the former Congress-led government" were to be investigated.
"There is virtually no local (government) officer who is not involved in the illegalities (during the former government). They were involved in the scams like recruitment, where they have signed the documents," Parrikar told an annual general meeting of Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) here today.
"If I am harsh, then half of the officers will go to jail. They will face criminal action," the chief minister said, adding that he had to take almost one and half year after assuming charge to get the administration working.
"There are direct evidences against them with me. When I took over, the officers could not function, as they were worried. So I had to tell them to tell the investigating authorities that they had done the irregularities at the behest of the then ministers," Parrikar stated.
He accused former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat of completely "destroying" the administration for corruption.
"I initially thought that the first sin of Kamat was corruption, but I was wrong. The first sin was total destruction of the administration," Parrikar said.
Parrikar further said that he would not stop the casinos in the state as he cannot afford to lose revenues worth Rs 150 crore.
"I get Rs 150 crore worth of revenue from casinos. Although I am personally against them, how will I be compensated if I close them," Parrikar said at a meeting of Goa Small Industries Association here.
Parrikar has been facing criticism from the opposition Congress for not being able to shut down the off shore casino vessels dotting River Mandovi.
Parrikar had opposed the casinos when he was Leader of Opposition in the previous term of the Assembly.
He said that there was a liability of Rs 1,500 crore when the BJP-led government took over the reigns of the state from Congress last year.
"There was no money even to pay salaries of the government staff when I took over," he pointed out.
Referring to the recent allegation of his son getting mutation of his land documents done within a day, he said that all legal formalities were followed by his son in the process.
"There was a government order that mutation has to be done within 24 hours. The order is applicable to all applicants, not just my son," he clarified.
"If anyone can prove misuse of government machinery by me or my son, I will resign immediately," he said adding he would expose all the sinister designs behind various allegations made by Congress against the government.