The Goa Congress on Saturday backed its leader and former minister Nilkant Halarnkar, who has been summoned by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in connection with a land grab case, alleging that the BJP was involved in blackmailing its opponents. Halarnkar was booked by the ACB in June this year along with AAP’s chief ministerial face for the upcoming Goa Assembly polls, Elvis Gomes for their alleged involvement in the case.
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Halarnkar was then minister for Housing Board, while Gomes was the managing director of the board. The FIR registered against them mentions the duo were part of the Goa State Housing Board and allegedly acquired 30,000 sq metres of land and changed its ‘zoning’ (reservation) to benefit the original land owner.
“The charge of Congress Goa unit president Luizinho Faleiro that the BJP is blackmailing its opponents, particularly Congress leaders stands vindicated,” Congress Goa spokesperson Trajano D’Mello told reporters on Saturday. He said the recent summons issued by the vigilance department to Halarnkar, is a testimony to the charge of blackmail tactics. “Without going into the merits of the case, what is questionable is the timing of the summons,” he said.
D’Mello said tactics like these are a clear indication that the BJP is feeling the heat at the ground level, and attempts to divert the focus of campaigning by its opponents.