Panaji (Goa) [India]: Goa Congress MLA Sankalp Amonkar on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the immediate sacking of Union Minister Smriti Irani to pave way for a free and fair investigation into her alleged family-run business in the coastal state.
Speaking to reporters, Amonkar, an MLA from Mormugao said that various departments in Goa are presently conducting enquiries on the complaint filed by RTI activist Adv Aires Rodrigues. “Smriti Irani has once again lied to the entire nation on her family-run business in Goa after her infamous graduation degree lie issue. All the circumstantial evidence, which is supported by her latest affidavit filed before ECI during the 2019 elections, documents of Registrar of companies Maharashtra and GST details prove prima facie that the restaurant in question, ‘SILLY SOULS CAFE & BAR at Assagao Goa is run by her family,” said Amonkar.
The Congress leader said the illegalities pointed out in this matter include illegal issuance of liquor license and the illegal construction of the restaurant which is in violation of various laws.
“It is also suspected that this entire business has been run on ‘Benami’ style and there is a high possibility that the property is also occupied as ‘Benami’,” he said.
“Various departments of Goa government including Excise, Panchayat, GST, Town and Country Department etc are involved in the enquiry of the case and since Central and State government are run by the same political party (BJP), it is quite natural that various authorities and their heads including the Chief Minister and his Cabinet ministers are under immense pressure to protect Smriti Irani and her family,” said Amonkar.
Quoting Goa Women and Child Development Minister Vishwajit Rane, the Congress MLA said Rane has in a recent statement said that Smriti Irani is his “boss”.
“It may also be pointed out that the same Goa cabinet minister Vishwajit Rane unfortunately also holds the Town and Country Planning Ministry, which is presently investigating Irani’s alleged matter in the TCP department,” said Amonkar.
He further said, “We have strongly demand that Union Minister Smriti Irani be immediately dropped from the council of ministers in order to pave way for a free and fair probe.”
Amonkar said If Irani comes out clean and is proven innocent in this matter, PM Modi can definitely reinduct her in the council of Ministers, once the matter is closed after proper investigations.
“We are hopeful that PM Narendra Modi will take prompt action by dropping Smriti Irani from the council of ministers with immediate effect,” he added.