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Panaji, Feb 28 (IANS) Under attack from the Congress for alleged nepotism in the allotment of an industrial plot to his son, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar can now hope for respite, with a key group of entrepreneurs backing the "transparent" allotment.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji Thursday, Shekhar Sardessai, president of the Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA), said the plot was allotted to the chief minister's son Abhijat to set up a hydraulics and a pneumatics unit only after due procedures.
Sardessai is a member of the screening committee of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) which recently allocated 41 plots at the Tuem industrial estate, 35 km from here.
"The chief minister even called me, asking me to grill his son like anyone else during the selection process. Luckily, there were enough plots. All the procedures were followed and the plots were allotted transparently," Sardessai said.
The GSIA president, who a couple of years ago launched a crusade against corruption in the allotment of industrial plots in the state, also obliquely said the controversy surrounding Parrikar's son could have been rigged by detractors, because criminal action was being initiated against those who had fraudulently amassed industrial plots and were misusing them.
"The controversy appears to be aimed at drawing away the attention from the main subject that FIRs (first information report) are being filed by the Goa Industries Development Corporation against those who have committed the irregularities," Sardessai said.
The Congress has been attacking Parrikar over what the opposition party claims is nepotism in plot allotment.
Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamhankar Wednesday likened Parrikar to former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who was booked for illegal conversion of land outside Bangalore and handing it over to his kin and relatives.