Detained Goa minister released after phone call: BJPApril 6th, 2011 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, April 6 (IANS) Goa’s opposition BJP Wednesday alleged that state Education Minister Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate, who was detained last week by Mumbai airport customs for allegedly carrying crores of rupees worth of foreign exchange, was left off after a call from the union finance minister’s office.
The Goa assembly was disrupted for the second day in a row Wednesday over the issue.
Speaker Pratapsingh Rane was forced to adjourn Wednesday morning’s proceedings to later in the afternoon, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insisting on discussing the detention of Monseratte and his role as a conduit of black money for several other ruling politicians in the state.
“These are extraordinary circumstances. A minister in this cabinet has been caught smuggling. We want to discuss this. I also want to know stand of every MLA (member of legislative assembly) and minister on the other side on this issue,” Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said.
“This kind of a case is unprecedented. Is this a government of smugglers? Who had called from the finance minister’s office asking the customs officers to allow him (Monserrate) to go? There is no point discussing other issues, if we cannot have a discussion on the education minister’s detention,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP has already dubbed Monserrate a “mini Hasan Ali” — after the Pune-based alleged money launderer who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate — and alleged that he could be laundering the monies of several ministers and politicians from Goa.
“He could be a conduit for parking money from minister and politicians abroad. He is a mini Hasan Ali…a Babush Ali,” Parrikar had said Tuesday after staging a walkout from the assembly.
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Tags: babush, bharatiya janata party, bjp leader, black money, crores, customs officers, education minister, enforcement directorate, extraordinary circumstances, goa assembly, leader of opposition, member of legislative assembly, mla member, money launderer, monseratte, monserrate, mumbai airport, panaji, pratapsingh rane, union finance minister