Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS) In a first admission about the BJP-led coalition government's inability to crack down on corruption, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar admitted that he did not take "personal interest" in acting against corruption and criminals in the state.
"Over the last two years, when I became Chief Minister, if there was one thing which I might have paid less attention to, it is cracking the whip on such people," Parsekar told a select group of journalists following him during the election campaign in Porvorim assembly constituency.
"(When) I took grip of affairs, development was our priority. What was neglected and I should have taken personal interest in was dealing with thieves and dacoits, those being probed by the SIT (Special Investigating team) or other probes. I did not pay special attention to it. I let it go by natural course," he said.
Parsekar, who is contesting from the Mandrem constituency, said during his campaign people had been asking him about why adequate action was not taken against law breakers.
In 2012, one of the key poll promises of the Bharatiya Janata Party was "zero tolerance to corruption". The opposition has accused the BJP government of not living up to that promise.
"I accept that. There was need to be more active but I wasn't able to do that. I am confident that the people will give clear majority and more seats than the last time to the BJP in Goa and the things where we lapsed, we will do it in the future," he said.
"People expected it from us. In the last two years, I focussed on employment generation, but the cracking of the proverbial whip did not happen.
"It is my nature, that I do not harass others, but if the people want, that those who have committed crimes should be severely dealt with, we should have done it. I fell short vis-à-vis that," he said.