Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said he would increase the allowances of Goa MLAs because better salaries could be a deterrent to corruption. “I am going to increase the allowances of MLAs. I am the only person who has bluntly and straightaway said all the time that MLAs, if they do not get proper funds, will have reason to start corruption. I am not saying that after giving money everyone will be clean. But at least the reasons of corruption will not exist,” he said, addressing journalists on the occasion of National Press Day.
“How many know of the kind of pressure on an MLA? I don’t think anyone will know. People expect donations. People expect everything. The money you get as MLA, for someone like me too, just flows out in these donations and miscellaneous expenses, which are not connected. A politician is today required to be a 24-hour politicians. He can hardly do his own business….”
He said while the media continues to be the strongest pillar of democracy, any journalist writing “fake news” is sacrificing his principles. He said he had many a disagreement with journalists, but he would still fight for their right to report. “I differ with you, but I will fight to the last for your right to differ with me…. Harassing a journalist from a newspaper just because he is upset with me, if someone is harassing him and he wants justice, he will always get it from me,” he said.