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Sanguem MLA Withdraws support To Pramod Sawant-Led Govt; Claims Lost Faith In Sawant

Sanguem MLA Withdraws support
Sanguem MLA Exhibiting The Letter Of Withdrawal of Support To Media

In a major setback to the ruling BJP government, independent Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar has withdrawn his support to the Sawant-led government, accusing the Chief Minister and the BJP leaders of making false and baseless accusations against him with regards to the IIT Goa project issue. 

“I am officially withdrawing my support to the Pramod Sawant-led government, and I will hand in my withdrawal letter to the Governor today,” the MLA said while briefing media persons in the city today. 

Stating that the Chief Minister had no grounds to make such an unsubstantiated statement about him being involved in ‘land deals’, he has challenged Sawant to produce evidence with regards to his statements. 

“CM Sawant should come out and prove the allegations he has made against me. I was supporting the government led by Parrikar, and after his demise when Pramod Sawant took over, I continued my support to the government. Despite the support, the CM has made such claims. If he had anything, he should have approached me personally and clarified,” Gaonkar said. 

“We are seeing maximum protests now in Melaulim because of the IIT project. By saying what I said that day about the IIT issue, I was only trying to tell that previously Parrikar had promised the IIT project would come up in the Sanguem area. But due to various reasons, it was shifted to Melaulim,” he said. 

Claiming that he, in no way criticized the government, but was only suggesting an alternative considering the protests being witnessed in Melaulim village of Sattari, Gaonkar stated that the CM’s allegations of him being involved in land setting deals despite supporting him was unwelcomed for.

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“Today what’s happening in Melaulim would not have happened if the government had not shifted the project out of the Sanguem area. Three sites were identified and all plans and site papers were in place,” the MLA said, adding that the project in the constituency would not be an inconvenience to the local people as the lands identified were not forested, neither were they locals staying currently.  Furthermore, it would provide some sort of jobs and employment to locals around, he said.  

 

Prasad Gaonkar is an independent MLA and was lending his support since he came to power to the Parrikar government. He was also vocal in support of the IIT issue when it was proposed in Sanguem. However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant accused Gaonkar of being involved in ‘land deals’ and hence he wasn’t giving the land as it did not go in his favour, the CM had said. The MLA today, rubbished these statements. 

He also accused BJP leader Damu Naik and Ramesh Tawadkar of being ‘puppets’ of the BJP and working on the higher-up’s orders and delivering baseless statements against him. The two, in a press conference yesterday, accused Gaonkar of interfering in the IIT Goa issue. 

He also made a strong statement against the government on the widespread protests being witnessed across the state on various projects, saying that the government has failed to take people and local villages into confidence while implementing such projects. 

“The government is bringing projects without taking people into consideration. All the projects are not welcomed by the people and hence, locals and youth are forced to come out and protest,” he said. 

He stated that the government will reduce to single-digit numbers by the next election, as he and the people have lost faith in the government led by Pramod Sawant. By withdrawing his support, he has vouched to continue working as an independent MLA for the people of Sanguem. 

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