Updated: December 13, 2021 2:59:48 am
A day after BJP MLA Atanasio Monserrate accused Goa’s PWD minister of ‘selling’ jobs in his department ‘to the highest bidder’, the minister Deepak Pauskar said that his allegations were baseless and he had no role to play in the selection of candidates for jobs of junior engineers and technical assistant engineers in the PWD.
“I am making a direct allegation that the minister of PWD… has taken money from people to get their names selected. I have proof to show people have paid Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh to the minister and the minister has sold the jobs to the highest bidder….I have people who will tell that minister has taken money,” Monserrate had said on Saturday. He said that the list of selected candidates needs to be withdrawn immediately. Monserrate alleged that this was a scam to the tune of Rs 70 crore.
On Sunday, responding to his allegations, Pauskar said, “The allegations are baseless. He had recommended some candidates (for jobs) to me and asked for them to included in the list (of selected candiates). I cannot make any recommendations. The results of the examination held for junior engieers and technical assistant enginners were announced by the Goa Engineering College and we had declared them. We have no role in that. We cannot recommend any candiates. Allegations can be made by anyone . Tell them to show proof. The 368 jobs were given as per results of the polytechnic; those published in the gazette are all done as per the rules. As the minister I have not interfered at any stage.”
Asked why a fellow BJP MLA would make the allegation against him, Pauskar said, “I don’t now what’s in his mind. In our government no ministers or MLAs have come to me with job recommendations for any candidates. He had come to me. But there is nothing I could have done.”
The turmoil within the BJP ranks comes at a time that legislative assembly polls are about two months away. Panaji MLA Monserrate, was among the ten MLAs who had defected to the BJP from the Congress in 2019. Pauskar, on the other hand, was one of the two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLAs, who had similarly switched to the BJP in 2019.
Following Monserrate’s allegations, opposition parties in the state also attacked the BJP over the ‘jobs scam’. Senior Congress leader Digambar Kamat said, “With malicious intention of manipulating results to favour select few candidates and depriving job opportunities to deserving qualified youths, the @BJP4Goa government deliberately kept Staff Selection Commission dormant since 2019 even after the members have taken oath of office”.
Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai said, “When a ruling party MLA reveals the going rate for jobs in Goa, accused party minister of massive corruption, it only ratifies what we’ve been saying all along. The BJP government is a Menu Card government and they’ve looted Goans of their money and Goa of her dignity.” “This is not a jobs for votes scam, it is interview for votes scam. Nobody gets any jobs. It’s only for interviews,” Sardesai said.
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