PAC report on illegal mining in Goa likely to be tabled in assembly

With the public accounts committee (PAC) on the illegal mining scam likely to be placed in the Goa assembly today, chief minister Digambar Kamat, who also handles the mining portfolio, is under pressure to quit.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched a campaign demanding the resignation of Kamat, the Congress is accusing the opposition party of launching ''a political witch hunt.'' Agnelo Fernandes, a Congress MLA and member of the PAC, says chairman Manohar Parrikar – who is the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, and a former BJP chief minister – did not give any time to members to discuss the report.

The PAC report, which has already been leaked, indicts Kamat and his government for the illegal mining scam amounting to about Rs.4,000 crore. ''The BJP demands that a CBI inquiry should be held in the mining scam and the chief minister should be removed,'' said party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman. ''The dirty money from Goa is probably helping Congress run the show at the centre and in the state.''

The BJP notes that the party's former chief minister, B S Yeddyurappa, quit the top post after allegations were made against him by the state Lokayukta, about illegal mining in Bellary.

But in Goa, the Congress is not willing to sack its chief minister, despite the PAC report.

The report recommends that the CBI or the Lokayukta should investigate the illegal mining that has been taking place in Goa in collusion with several local politicians, bureaucrats and police officers.