Goa AAP slams ACB for not taking action against tainted BJP ministers; calls agency a 'caged parrot'

Panaji: The AAP in Goa on Thursday accused the BJP-led coalition government of double standards, saying while ACB officials are hounding leader of opposition and Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar, the same anti-graft agency is sleeping over graft charges against sitting ministers and government officials.

At a press conference in Panaji, state Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) general secretary Pradeep Padgaonkar said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials had not acted on a complaint filed by the party in the CDM Smith case, seeking action against the accused.

File image of Chandrakant Kavlekar. Image courtesy: goa.gov.in

File image of Chandrakant Kavlekar. Image courtesy: goa.gov.in

"The ongoing drama surrounding the police investigation against Chandrakant Kavlekar is yet another instance of chief minister Manohar Parrikar's well-known trait of using the anti-corruption bogey for political convenience," Padgaokar said.

"If not, AAP challenges the chief minister to give the ACB head a free hand to register an FIR in the CDM Smith bribery case where his current Cabinet colleagues are under the cloud," he said.

The bribery scandal in Goa was discovered after the National Highways authority of India (NHAI) in July this year ordered an inquiry into the allegation that CDM Smith paid $1.18 million as graft to officials in order to get four contracts.

The Boston-based consultancy firm, as a matter of self-disclosure, had earlier informed in writing to the central government's road infrastructure agency that between two percent and four percent of the contract value had been paid to the officials to secure the contract.

Public Works Department (PWD) minister Sudin Dhavalikar had said he had ordered a probe into the allegations of graft.

The PWD, which oversees water supply works in the state, also executes road infrastructure-related works in tandem with the NHAI.

The AAP, however, claims that despite months having passed since the disclosures, which were endorsed by the NHAI, there was no effort being made to nab the accused.

The party official also maintained that a complaint filed in the CDM Smith case by AAP officials with the ACB is not being acted upon, accusing the ACB of being a "caged-parrot".

Updated Date: Sep 29, 2017 15:53 PM

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