BJP Goa spokesman Savio Rodrigues writes to CM, demands inquiry into Kala Academy tendering process

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Panaji: Bharatiya Janata Party Goa spokesman Savio Rodrigues on Tuesday demanded investigation into the allotment of work for renovation of a project in Goa by-passing the tendering process.

Rodrigues has written to Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant demanding investigation into the work of renovating Kala Academy building in Panaji, which was done without tendering the work. The work is estimated to be of Rs 56 crore.

“My intent to raise question on the ‘no tendering process’ is not to caste an aspersion on the government or its ministers but to understand the reason behind the omitting of the tendering process to opt for a nomination process when it is clearly stipulated in the guidelines,” Rodrigues has said in the letter.

The BJP leader said that deliberately ignoring the set guidelines, opens our government to questions of a biased decision to allot the work to a favoured private agency without any other bidders for the work.

“This decision sows the seeds of doubt that ‘corruption’ could have been a probability and a possibility,” he added.

Rodrigues said that the guiding principle of our party is nation first, party second and self-last. “I believe in this guiding principle. It is this guiding principle that has led me to raise the issue of the ‘no tendering process’ the Goa government decided on for the allotment of work to a private agency for the renovation of the Kala Academy,” he said.

The issue about the Kala Academy’s tendering was raised on the floor of the House by Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai during the last Assembly session.

State Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude has defended the process questioning whether tender was opened for construction of Taj Mahal. He was pointing out that some specialized works has to be done by selected agencies.

Gaude recently had excused himself from the controversy stating  that it was Public Works Department that had executed the work of allotting the contract.

In his letter on Tuesday, Rodrigues said the statement of Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude comparing the Kala Academy project to Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan which supposedly did not require a tendering process; it makes a mockery of the Indian democratic ethos.

“You and I would agree without a doubt that India is a democratic nation, therefore, comparing Goa to the era of Shah Jahan is to tell the people of Goa, that the government is a ‘Ruler’ and people ‘Subjects’. In our democracy, political leaders are ‘Sevaks of the People’,” he said.

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