SOIRU VELIP | NT
Power struggle between IT Minister Jennifer Monserrate and chairman of Infotech Corporation of Goa Nilkanth Halarnkar has come to the fore.
Halarnkar is upset over the alleged ‘interference’ of Monseratte in the affairs of the corporation.
And the fallout of the conflict of interest is that Halarnkar, who had defected to the BJP from the Congress along with nine other legislators including Monserrate, has stopped going to the ITG office and also using the official car.
The power struggle was triggered by Monserrate’s inspection of the site of the electronic city project at Tuem without informing Halarnkar.
It is pertinent to note here that the electronic city project is being executed by the ITG.
Moreover, the IT Minister replaced the ITG managing director without consulting its chairman.
On Monday, Monserrate visited the ITG office at Altinho when the chairman was not present and gave instructions to ITG officials. She directed the
officials to compulsorily route all the corporation files to her.
Speaking to media persons on Tuesday, the IT Minister admitted directing the corporation officials to route the files to her.
Monserrate said that as the IT Minister she visited the corporation office to ascertain its functioning, and punctuality and attendance of the staff.
She said, “I have given instructions that all files pertaining to the ITG should come to me… I must know what is going on in the corporation. Two files have been moved forward without informing me. How this can happen?”
Monserrate maintained that as the IT Minister she – and not the corporation chairman – is answerable to the state legislative assembly, but stressed that the chairman and the minister should work in tandem.
On the other hand, Halarnkar said the minister would set a wrong precedent if she starts interfering in the affairs of autonomous bodies like the ITG.
“I have brought this to the notice of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, and expect that he would take a right decision in the interest of the IT sector and the state,” he emphasised.
Halarnkar observed that there are many corporations under various departments. But these corporations are run independently as they are autonomous bodies.
Claiming that the IT department is not providing funds to the corporation, the chairman said the ITG is run using its own revenue generated through various projects.
Halarnkar also said the ITG’s board of directors has not yet been constituted by the government.
The Chief Minister on Monday evening made an attempt to pacify the warring IT Minister and ITG chairman.
However, Monserrate is firm on her move that all the ITG files must come to her.