Cong demands Goa CM’s resignation over Maha land deals

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Panaji, Nov 16 (IANS) The Congress in Goa on Saturday questioned Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s purchase of large tracts property in Maharashtra’s border district of Sindhudurg, especially two lands deals, which the Opposition party’s national spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged, were signed after Sawant and his wife campaigned in Sindhudurg during the recently concluded Maharashtra state Assembly polls.

Sawant has maintained that the land deals were above board and that he had nothing to hide regarding the transactions.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Saturday, Khera also demanded the resignation of Sawant on account of the land deals and allegedly instigating a campaign in Sindhudurg’s Dodamarg sub district — where the tracts of land have been purchased from — for merger into Goa.

“What is it about Dodamarg sub district in Maharashtra that the Chief Minister of Goa, who belongs to the BJP, goes to campaign against the joint candidate of the BJP and Shiv Sena in the Sawantwadi Assembly segment? A group created by Sawant talks about merger of the sub district with Goa. We demand to know if this talk of merger is inspired by the investments made by Sawant in the sub district,” Khera told reporters at the press conference.

Quoting from sale documents, Khera also said, that that some land purchase transactions in Dodamarg sub district of Sindhudurg which were executed on October 24, soon after the Maharashtra polls. During the poll campaign in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in an election rally had also chided Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for canvassing for independent candidate Rajen Teli against a candidate nominated by the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.

The Congress also raised questions about the inconsistency in prices of land parcels which were purchased by Sawant.

“What kind of a transaction is this where he allegedly buys 2,966 acres of land in 2016 for a meagre Rs 38 lakh but in the same area, he spends rupees Rs 14 lakh for 4.39 acres in 2019?” Khera said.

After the local opposition parties last week questioned Sawant’s land deals in Dodamarg sub district, the Chief Minister had maintained that all his land deals were above board and that he had nothing to hide.

“There is nothing to hide. The money was paid from my bank account and the land is in my name,” Sawant has said.

–IANS

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