Parrikar given clean chit in IFFI scam case

February 24th, 2011 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, Feb 24 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has given a clean chit to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) infrastructure scam, Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik said Thursday. The complaint against Parrikar, who is also leader of opposition in the Goa legislative assembly, was filed by Congress legislator Mauvin Godinho for alleged financial irregularities in building infrastructure for the 2004 edition of IFFI, which was being held in Goa for the first time.

The clean chit comes amidst reports that the BJP leader has gone soft in his criticism of key state Congress leaders, which includes the current Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who was also questioned by CBI officials in connection with the scam.

In a written statement issued Thursday, Naik quoted union Minister of State for Personnel and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy’s reply to his question in the upper house on the status of the CBI probe against Parrikar.

“The investigation against the ex-chief minister of Goa (Parrikar) is complete and the evidence has not been found to be sufficient to prosecute the case, and as such, a closure report is being filed,” Naik said, quoting Narayanasamy.

The CBI was probing Parrikar under multiple sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988.

The complaint was filed months after the BJP lost to the Congress in the state elections and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) swept to power in 2004.

Several top leaders, including Parrikar and Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who was then a BJP leader and a key member of the IFFI organising committee, have been questioned by the investigative agency. Kamat had subsequently quit the BJP and joined the Congress.

Over the last couple of years, the BJP cadre and political commentators have accused Parrikar of going strategically soft in his criticism of the Congress ministers, namely Kamat, Vishwajeet Rane and Atanasio Monserrate, even after scam after scam relating to mining, excise, real estate and health infrastructure keep tumbling out of the Congress-led coalition government’s larder.

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