2011-04-03 21:41:38 UTC
PTI | 09:04 PM,Apr 03,2011
Panaji, Apr 3 (PTI) Goa Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate today
said that he could account for all the unaccounted money that was
found from him when he was detained at Mumbai airport by Customs
officials.Monserrate told PTI that he was carrying Rs 21 lakh in
different currencies, and was on his way to Dubai along with his
friend and son, when he was intercepted by Customs officials before
boarding the flight on Saturday morning.
"I was having traveller's cheques worth USD 25,000 which I had
procured last year when I was supposed to go to London for a business
trip," the minister said, adding that the cheques remained
unspent.Monserratte said he was also carrying 75,000 Dinar (sic) and
"I was not informed that one cannot carry such amount of traveller's
cheques when you are on a tourist visa. It is allowed only on business
visa," the minister said. He claimed he had visited countries like
Russia and Japan with these traveller's cheques. "I did not encash the
cheques in India because of the fluctuation of the currency."
Monserrate said that he could account for all the money and he had
been summoned on April 8 to Mumbai with accounts.
"This is not unaccounted money. I can produce all documents," he
claimed.The minister said that he left for Mumbai on Saturday by early
morning flight, and was supposed to board flight to Dubai at 10.25
AM."On the way, I was supposed to pay Rs 1.51 lakh for the maintenance
of my flat in Mumbai," Monserrate said, adding that he paid that
amount, but was carrying additional Indian currency notes, which were
left with him. He said he was carrying foreign currency worth only Rs
21 lakh, and not crores of rupees, as reported by the media.PTI
* * *
Parrikar wants edu min sacked
TNN | Apr 3, 2011, 03.37am IST
PANAJI: Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar has demanded that the
government sack education minister Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate from
the state cabinet.
The BJP called for a press conference on Saturday evening after news
broke out about Monserrate being detained at Mumbai airport for
carrying money that was beyond the permissible limit abroad.
"The chief minister must answer whether Monserrate has informed him,
the governor and the speaker that he is leaving for a foreign
destination while the assembly session is under way," Parrikar said.
"The minister has violated the Customs Act. This amounts to smuggling
of foreign currency. His intention is very clear. Though attempts are
being made to show that he is being charged under Foreign Exchange
Management Act ( FEMA), the matter is much more serious. We demand
that this minister be removed immediately. There should be an
investigation into his disproportionate assets," the opposition leader
He criticized Monserrate for holding the education portfolio despite
the "criminal cases against him". "An education minister should have
intelligence and morality. The government should sack him before
Tuesday's session of the assembly," Parrikar said.
Interestingly, when Monserrate was a BJP member and minister in the
BJP-led government in 2004, Parrikar was among the first to object to
the CBI raid at Monserrate's house. The Panaji MLA-who was the then
chief minister- had rushed to Monserrate's residence at Taleigao even
as the IT raid was on. Speaking to reporters at Monserrate's residence
after the IT officials had left, Parrikar had threatened to withdraw
consent to the CBI to operate in Goa.
However, relations turned sour between the two in January 2005, which
saw Monserrate being stripped of the town and country planning
portfolio by Parrikar. This was followed by the subsequent demise of
the BJP-led government.
* * *
Goa Minister found carrying 50 crores in cash
* * *
Civic poll, a proxy assembly fight?
Andrew Pereira, TNN, Mar 13, 2011, 01.00am IST
PANAJI: The intention to contest the next assembly elections from
Panaji by Taleigao MLA Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate has given a new
dimension to the elections to the Corporation of the City of Panaji
(CCP). And the strategies adopted to defeat him in the civic polls
have turned this election into a potboiler.
In the fray are two party-backed panels, a mix of independents and a
couple of citizens' groups chanting the anti-Monserrate slogan.
In fact, the delimitation of the Panaji constituency has increased the
stakes for control over the CCP, as both Monserrate and Panaji MLA
Manohar Parrikar have tirelessly canvassed in the city's wards, with
the Taleigao MLA being accused of inducing voters with gifts.
So why is Monserrate keen to contest in Panaji, anyway? "As per the
delimitation of assembly constituencies, three CCP wards from my
constituency of Taleigao and two wards in Ribandar will now be part of
the Panaji constituency. So, it does make sense for me to give it a
try," the state education minister told TOI.
While Panaji's electorate for the 2007 assembly elections stood at
around 16,000 voters, after the delimitation of constituencies, around
2,600 voters from Taleigao and over 3,000 voters from Ribandar will
enter the constituency, swelling the electorate to 21,600 voters.
Panaji MLA Manohar Parrikar counters Monserrate's statement saying a
significant percentage of the new votes coming into the constituency
are for the BJP.
To give one a perspective on Panaji's recent political history,
Parrikar has won the seat for four consecutive terms since 1994. While
he won quite comfortably in 1994 and 1999, he defeated then Panjim
Municipal Council chairperson Ramesh Silimkhan in the 2002 assembly
polls by 1,300 votes. The bigger battle, however, was in 2007, when he
beat Dinar Tarcar by a 1,500-vote margin.
Incidentally, the former chief minister received a large helping from
Monserrate in the 2007 election, where sources say, many of the
Taleigao MLA's councillors did not work for Tarcar in the capital
Monserrate, incidentally, also served in Parrikar's cabinet as town
and country planning minister from June 2002 to February 2005.