TMC accuses Goa CM's men of burning poll material

A day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) accused Chief Minister Digambar Kamat of being responsible for a $400 million-plus mining scam, a TMC candidate has accused Kamat’s supporters of burning party flags and equipment.

Savio Coutinho, the TMC’s candidate from the Margao assembly constituency - Kamat’s home constituency - has said he was also threatened by Kamat’s personal security officer (PSO). Kamat has vehemently denied these allegations.

"A mob of the chief minister’s supporters went to the Trinamool office in Margao and lit fire crackers near our banners and party flags, burning them. Nilesh Prabhu, one of the chief minister’s bodyguards, also came to my house to threaten me," said Coutinho, a former mayor of Margao town, 30 km from here. Coutinho said he would be filing a complaint with the election authority Friday.

TMC state president Wilfred de Souza had accused Kamat of encouraging illegal mining in Goa.

"The report, of which I managed to get a glimpse, says that illegal mining in Goa has cost a loss of $423 million in terms of revenue to both the Goa and central governments. The chief minister was in a position to stop illegal mining. Instead, he encouraged it," the octogenerian de Souza said.

Kamat has, however, denied Coutinho’s allegations.

"This is a false complaint. This kind of incident has not happened. We did not burst any crackers. I have been myself going on door to door campaigns across my constituency," Kamat said.

Elections to the Goa assembly will be held March 3, and the results would be announced  March 6.

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