Not one, two Goa ministers may have taken bribe: Parrikar

Panaji, July 19 (IANS) Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said two ministers from Goa, including the then public works department minister, may have accepted bribes from a global consultancy firm for a water developmental project in Goa in 2010.

The firm has since admitted to a US government agency to paying a bribe of nearly one million dollars or about Rs.6.3 crore.

“The project was related to Japan International Cooperation Agency. Therefore, the then PWD minister may be involved; and since the project also deals with financial approval, there is likelihood of another minister’s involvement,” Parrikar said while addressing a meeting of party workers in Margao, 35 km from Panaji.

The then PWD minister Churchill Alemao has refused to comment on the allegations, saying he has “no idea what statement the media is quoting”.

Portions of the US government’s Justice Department documents, quoted in the national media, said two top officials of international consultancy firm Louis Berger allegedly offered a bribe of $976,630 to an Indian minister and government officials in 2010 to secure the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project.

The documents, according to the same media reports, claim the two company officials pleaded guilty to paying the bribe.

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the bribery allegations and said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this.

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