Panaji : Former Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar has stated that the allegation against Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar of encouraging deforestation is of serious kind and it should be investigated thoroughly and he should be booked.
It may be recalled that Janardhan Bhandari and Vikas Bhagat, both locals from Canacona, had alleged that Ramesh Tawadkar using his position as speaker and senior leader of BJP had done illegal use of forest trees.
“He may have used these trees for whatever reason, but this whole matter should be investigated and if he is found guilty then he should be booked. It is wrong to use trees from forest areas by using constitutional position and also to make government officials part of this crime,” Chodankar said.
“BJP is doing such a ‘dadagiri’ where even government officials are forced to obey illegal orders and acts of leaders of this party. Same thing has happened here in Canacona, where officials were mute spectators out of fear of action,” Chodankar pointed out.
He said that after the whole issue was systematically exposed by the Janardhan Bhandari and Vikas Bhagat, the BJP leader Ramesh Tawadkar threatened them to file defamation cases against them.
“BJP is using tools of ‘defamation’ and using government machinery to suppress the voice of those who speak against them. Such practices of BJP have been witnessed by people of nation in Rahul Gandhi’s case, where he was falsely convicted and disqualified from Lok Sabha. The same practice they will use everywhere now,” Congress leader said.
“Illegal use of trees from forest areas is a serious matter as the world is reeling under global warming and fighting against it. Rather than encouraging afforestation, Tawadkar has encouraged the violation of forest laws. This was not expected from a person who is holding a constitutional position in the BJP government,” he said.
“We demand that this whole matter should be investigated thoroughly and all those involved in the illegal use of trees should be booked along with Ramesh Tawadkar,” Chodankar said.
He said law makers cannot be law breakers and Tawadkar should resign as speaker and face the law. “For free and fair investigation of this matter, he should resign and face the investigation,” Chodankar said.
Chodankar also said that Tawadkar has exposed the BJP government saying gambling and extortion activities are on in Goa.
“This proved that gambling activities were going on in Goa, despite the BJP government ruling in the state since the last decade,” Chodankar said.