Ex-CM Rane faked papers to push for Goa statehood: Former Secretary

GoaFormer Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane said the desire for statehod for Goa was based on local people's aspirations. (PTI)

A retired senior bureaucrat has alleged former Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane used "fake documents" to push for statehood to the then Union Territory way back in 1987, a charged rubbished by the latter.

The then Chief Minister (Rane) accessed certain documents using his men in Statistics Department and furnished them to demand statehood for Goa, former Chief Secretary J C Almeida alleged in an interview to a television channel.

Almeida did not clarify nature of the documents, but claimed they contained fake statistics related to finances.

Rane, however, quickly rubbished the allegation and questioned its timing. "Why is Almeida speaking up after so many years?" the veteran Congress leader sought to know.

Almeida, the first Goan Chief Secretary, on Thursday said Rane had provided "fake and unrealistic documents" to the then Rajiv Gandhi government.

The retired IAS officer's comments came at a time when Goa celebrated its Liberation Day on Thursday. He claimed there was undue hurry by the then government to attain statehood.

Goa, liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961, should have waited for another ten years before asking for statehood. In the meantime, its administration should have completed all ongoing development projects with using Central funds, Almeida maintained.

The ex-Chief Secretary said statehood for Goa was more of a political demand. Rane, however, differed with him and said the desire was based on local people's aspirations.

"The general sentiments of the people was that Goa should attain statehood. The Government just followed people's demand," Rane said.

The Congress veteran, now Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, claimed Goa has achieved tremendous growth since becoming a full-fledged State 26 years ago.

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