Panaji, Nov 17 (PTI) Goa Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte on Saturday alleged that the bureaucrats of departments under Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were “misusing” the absence of the ailing leader and stalling government schemes.
The remarks by Khunte, who is an independent MLA, came hours after the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the BJP, claimed the state administration was “completely paralysed” for the last eight months owing to the illness of the Chief Minister and demanded that he give the charge to its minister Sudin Dhavalikar.
Parrikar is being treated for a pancreatic ailment at his residence here after arriving in the state on October 14 post-hospitalisation in Delhi’s AIIMS.
Khaunte said files were not moving in the absence of Parrikar. The Minister alleged that officers in the Finance and Administration departments, both under the CM’s charge, were playing “merry-go-round” with the files said the current state of affairs was due to the CM’s absence.
He alleged that a section of bureaucrats was taking advantage of the situation and making it difficult to implement government schemes related to e-governance and making the state an information-technology hub.
The minister, an Independent MLA from Porvorim, said he had apprised Parrikar of the situation and had stopped going to his office in the state secretariat.
“For the last one-and-half years, along with the CM, we had decided to make Goa an IT destination. We had also initiated a number of reforms in the revenue sector. For last 18 months, I worked 16-18 hours a day to ensure that several things get implemented by the departments under me,” Khaunte said.
“Finance and Administration come under the CM. I have sought clarity from the CM whether the government wants to make Goa an IT destination. We want to implement e-governance and IT. It is getting delayed and my team is getting de-motivated to take up new things,” the minister said.
“Now, this is the time when things should move. But in the last 3-4 months, the bureaucrats in the Finance and Administration departments are misusing his (CM) absence to do what they want,” the minister claimed.
Queried on whether he would withdraw support from the Parrikar government, Khaunte said, “I don’t know. I need to talk to my people.” Lashing out at officials, Khaunte said, “Bureaucrats are not accountable to the people. They are hidden people. We ministers are responsible and accountable to the people. The performing ministers have promised certain things during the state budget which need to be delivered.” Earlier in the day, the MGP gave an ultimatum that the charge of the chief minister’s post be given to its minister Sudin Dhavalikar in view of Parrikar’s illness.
The MGP warned that it would contest the Lok Sabha polls and Assembly by-elections in the state against BJP candidates if the demand was not met.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.