PANAJI: The ruling BJP in Goa today sought a CBI probe into the bribery case involving a US firm even as former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who headed the Congress government in the state when the alleged pay off was made, denied intervention of any of his ministers in clearing the project in question.
New Jersey-based construction management firm Louis Berger has been accused of bribing Indian officials for two major water development projects in Goa and Guwahati.
"A party delegation will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Rajnath Singh demanding an inquiry through CBI into the bribery scam. The guilty should be punished," BJP's Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar said.
The entire dealing of JAICA ((Japan International Cooperation Agency) project should be probed by CBI and if more people are involved, they should also be arrested, Tendulkar said.
"The truth should be revealed. It is clear before the US court that the bribe was paid, we should know who accepted the money," he said.
However, former Chief Minister of Goa Kamat, denied involvement of any of his ministers in clearing the project.
"All the tenders for the JAICA project were issued as per Central Public Works Department norms. There is no intervention of any minister in it," Kamat had told PTI.
He said the role of any state department comes to the fore only while deciding estimates for the tender.
"Once estimates are drawn there is no possibility of any minister interfering in it," he said.
Kamat said a consortium from Japan was the lowest bidder for this project for reviving the water and sewerage system in the state.
"Anyone can allege that he paid money to the minister, but there should be proper base to support it," he said.
Defence Minister and former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar had yesterday hinted at the involvement of two former state ministers in the case.
He had said as the work related to Japan International funding project, then PWD minister might be involved and considering the financial approval for the project there was likelihood of one more minister's involvement.
Chief Minister Parsekar had also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged pay off, saying Goa police would not be able to unearth the details since it is an international matter.
He said when the contracts were awarded, Congress leader Digambar Kamat was the chief minister and Churchill Alemao the in-charge of the Public Works Department.
The bribery of USD 976,630 for the project by Louis Berger included payments to a minister, details of which have not been disclosed by the US Department of Justice.
The Indian government, assisted by Japanese government, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities.
Louis Berger was part of a consortium for the project in Goa. The consortium included two Japanese firms and an Indian partner.
The team developed a project management information system and plan, evaluated bids, reviewed design and construction plans, and ensured quality work was done on time and within budget, the company says on its website.
Federal prosecutors, in their 11-page charge sheet, alleged that Louis Berger maintained a detailed diary and account of bribery made to Indian officials.