Goa Cong refers to CM, Deputy CM as 'forgetful Ghajini'

Goa Congress refers to CM, Deputy CM as 'forgetful Ghajini' over permissions for controversial project

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar. Credit: Twitter/@girishgoa

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar on Friday likened Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar to 'Ghajini', the muscled short-term-memory-loss afflicted fictional character played by Aamir Khan in the 2008 film, over comments made by Kavlekar over a controversial project by a BJP leader near a UNESCO-endorsed heritage site in the state.

Chodankar was referring to a bungalow near the Old Goa church complex near Panaji linked to BJP official Shaina NC's family, which has led to sustained civil society protests for nearly two months now.

"I do not understand what Babu Kavlekar is saying. I do not understand what is happening to the brains of the BJP. Do they have a 'short memory problem'? The BJP government has been in power since 2014. They seem to forget that momentarily. Babu Kavlekar and Pramod Sawant have become like Ghajini. Do they not remember that from 2012, they are in government and Congress has not been in power even for a day?" the state Congress president told a press conference.

The controversy surrounding the construction of the bungalow, located near the heritage St. Cajetan Church in Old Goa, blew up some months back, after activists as well the Congress party alleged that the construction was allegedly illegal in violation of state as well as heritage norms.

Civil society activists had accused the BJP-led coalition government of turning a blind eye to the alleged illegal construction, Kavlekar claimed that the permissions for the project were not granted when he was the Town and Country Planning Minister.

"I want to make it clear that the permission given by the TCP to the concerned project is not during my tenure, but I have already issued directions to the department to inquire into the matter and revoke the licence, once it was brought to my notice,” Kavalekar said.

The Congress has said that the permissions for the project were given during successive BJP-led governments headed by Chief Ministers late Manohar Parrikar and the incumbent CM Pramod Sawant.

"Babu Kavlekar is admitting that the BJP government has done illegalities. Goa Forward was a part of the BJP government. Whether it is Goa Forward or it is someone else, ultimately it is a BJP government. All permissions are not just given by the TCP. There are other departments which are also involved in that. Ultimately, it zeroes down to BJP," Chodankar said.

Responding to the controversy Shaina NC in a statement had said: “It’s an old structure that is being repaired and if they have a problem with legal permissions that have been taken it is ridiculous. These are unsubstantiated allegations.”

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