BJP will probe Goa’s drug mafia if voted to power

Panaji, April 5: The BJP will initiate a central probe into Goa’s drug mafia if voted to power, three-time MP and the party’s candidate for the North Goa seat Shripad Naik said Saturday.

He also said he has a greater chance of winning after Catholic priests in Goa endorsed the Bharatiya Janata Party and his candidature.

“I assure you I will get a (CBI) inquiry into the entire drug scenario in Goa once we form our government at the centre,” the former union minister of state said, adding the drug menace was very real and needed to be rooted out from Goa.

Shripad Naik, who was speaking to reporters here, denied allegations that he was going soft on his electoral rival and Congress candidate Ravi Naik, who has been indicted in a police-politician-drug mafia nexus by a legislative committee.

Asked why he was not targeting Ravi Naik, he said there was no need to indulge in negative campaigning.

“What he has done, he will suffer for it,” the North Goa MP said, adding that he would also not seek any action on the drug nexus probe report until the elections are over.

Ravi Naik was also accused in open court by Fiona Mackeown, mother of sexually assaulted and slain British teenager Scarlett Keeling, of backing Goa’s drug trade, a charge that he and his son Roy have denied.

The three-time MP also said that Catholic priests in Goa were paying little heed to a circular issued by the influential Church in Goa to defeat “communal forces” and are backing the BJP.

He had stirred a controversy by posing with a Bible in Church, and said that after the release of the circular, he was getting even more support from the minority community.

“The circular has not affected any priest. They gave me blessings saying I will win,” he said.

Two communiques issued by the Goa Church and a Church-backed organisation some weeks back had blamed BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for communalism and misgovernance.

While the statements did not take any names, there were enough leads to suggest that the intended targets of the exercise were the BJP chief ministers from Gujarat and Goa.

The Church’ appeal to the 27 percent Christian population to vote for secular candidates and reject the communal ones had triggered widespread criticism.

IANS