Sooner or later, Parrikar has to go: Shripad Naik

Ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s leadership will have to be changed “today or tomorrow”, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik said on Friday, according to an IANS report.

Naik also said that in view of Parrikar’s ill-health, dropping him as the Chief Minister was a “requirement” and a “compulsion” for the BJP leadership. Sooner or later, Parrikar has to go, he said.

“Change will have to be done today or tomorrow. It is a requirement. You know the Chief Minister’s health is not good. But he is still working in this condition,” Naik told mediapersons in Panaji.

Naik is one of the first Goa BJP leaders to demand a change of leadership in Goa even as the state BJP as well as members of the BJP-led coalition have come under immense flak over the Chief Minister’s prolonged absence due to his illness.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

He returned from New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14 and has not moved out of his private residence, for any official event since.

The opposition has been demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister, claiming that the administration has come to a standstill due to Parrikar’s absence.

To a question, as to whether it was fair to let an unwell Parrikar to handle administrative matters despite his illness, Naik said: “There are many reasons, which cannot be fully talked about. Thing will happen in time.”

Naik also said that he would take the lead to patch up differences among top BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Goa Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, who have openly rebelled against the decision taken by state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar to induct two Congress MLAs into the BJP.

with inputs from IANS

Mandrem By-polls: Parsekar’s Supporters Want Him To Contest By-polls on Congress Ticket, Defeat Sopte and Teach Tendulkar a Lesson

PANAJI: Several supporters of former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar want their leader to contest the Mandrem by-polls on a Congress ticket only to teach the local State BJP a ‘good lesson’.

IndiaScoops.com spoke to nearly 30-40 of Parsekar’s supporters who were very vocal on the subject. “We must teach the local BJP leadership a lesson. They have treated us like dirt, in spite of the fact we have worked for the party for the last several years, with many of them being associated with the party for more than 10 years. If Sopte can leave Congress, Parsekar can join Congress, only to defeat Sopte,” they said.

Also Read: Former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar may quit BJP, join Congress?

Parsekar’s personal supporters numbering about 800-1000 said they would do as their leader does. “If Parsekar joins the Congress, we will also join along with him. He has been our leader and he is a hard-working and dedicated person. We will stand by him and do as he says, even if it means working for the Congress during the by-polls,” they told IndiaScoops.com.

Political watchers said the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) leader and former Goa RSS head Subhash Velingkar is also wooing Parsekar and has offered him a GSM ticket. However, the Congress seems to stand a better chance in Mandrem and Parsekar wants to win at any cost against Sopte. (Read Here)

However, local Mandrem Congress leaders were not sure about inducting Parsekar. “Once he wins on a Congress ticket, he may re-join the BJP later on just like Sopte. This musical chairs must stop. We need a local, but loyal Congress leader who will stand by the party and the people of Mandrem, who vote for him, through thick and thin,” they opined.

As hectic parleys in Mandrem picked up steam, the NavHind Times reported that Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar met former chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday triggering speculations and setting tongues wagging.

Parsekar on Sunday said that he, as a political figure maintains good relationship with the local leaders of all the political parties, and therefore, has no reservations about interacting with them.

Parsekar, when asked about his meeting with Chodankar, earlier this week, told ‘The Navhind Times’ that members of other political parties are his political rivals, and he has never treated them as his political enemies. “I am opposed to them, but till a certain point,” he said, observing that he has never thought of political vendetta against his political rivals.

Sources, however, informed that the Parsekar-Chodankar meeting had the GPCC president discussing the Mandrem by-election with the senior BJP leader, in the light of the recent induction of former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte into BJP.

The sources also stated that Chodankar told Parsekar about the willingness of Congress to give candidature to Parsekar, if he intends to contest the forthcoming bypoll from Mandrem constituency.

Sopte has already told his supporters that he has joined the BJP after receiving an assurance that he would be the BJP candidate for the Mandrem by-election.

It is learnt that Chodankar also told Parsekar that if he (Parsekar) has no interest in contesting the Mandrem bypoll on Congress ticket, then he could support the Congress candidate in the Mandrem constituency.

“Today the political scenario in Goa is volatile and in such a situation, it is natural that many people are calling me up or interacting with me,” Parsekar said, mentioning that although he is open for interaction, no one should presume things based on these interactions.

Speaking further, Parsekar said that BJP national president Amit Shah is being fed with lies by the Goa unit of the party, and therefore, Shah should now give a patient hearing to the other side that is the existing truth.

“The national joint general secretary (organisation) of BJP B L Santhosh, Goa desk in-charge of the party Avinash Rai Khanna and state general secretary (organisation) of BJP Vijay Puranik should be consulted by Shah to understand the party-related ground realities in Goa,” he added, pointing out, “If the information from Santhosh, Khanna and Puranik is found to be “inadequate”, then I am there and always available.” “Politics of power is not everything and all that we (senior BJP leaders in Goa) had done in the past is now being sadly undone,” Parsekar stated, maintaining that concurring to any kind of compromises just to stay in power is not the culture of BJP.

“It should also be understood that in a democratic setup, one who is in power today is someday bound to be in the opposition,” he noted. On a parting note, Parsekar admitted that his party formed the government in Goa in haste, after the 2017 state assembly election.

“That mistake forced the party to make more mistakes and it went on,” he added. Chodankar, meanwhile, has neither denied nor confirmed about meeting Parsekar.

“Well, I am meeting people and will continue to do so to ensure that Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar are defeated,” Chodankar said.

When questioned again, he said, “People of Goa want that both the ex-Congress MLAs should be defeated. I am ready to go the extra mile and meet people who have similar views and join hands with them to root out Sopte and Shirodkar from Mandrem and Shiroda, respectively.”

All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of Goa A Chellakumar said that he was unaware of any meeting between the local Congress leadership and Parsekar.

He said that Congress would field its own candidate in the by-elections.

“We have aspirants and it will be only Congressmen who would contest on Congress ticket in both the constituencies,” he said. Congress Legislature

Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.

Sources in the Congress party said that during a recent meeting of the party workers from Mandrem held in Panaji in the presence of Chellakumar and Chodankar, the workers had in one voice demanded that the party give ticket to a Congressman from Mandrem.

The party workers had suggested to the party to avoid giving ticket to ‘imported’ individuals.

With inputs from NavHind Times

How Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar benefited after defection?

Two weeks after Congress legislators Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar defected to the BJP, there are allegations on how the two benefited from their crossover, claims an India Today report.

Interacting with his supporters at Mandrem in north Goa on October 21, Sopte boasted that he had demanded a cabinet berth in lieu of the defection. He also claimed he’d be inducted as minister before November 15. Patting a Ganesha locket, the MLA swore he hadn’t taken any money from the BJP and only wanted “constituency issues to be resolved”.

Shirodkar, who represents Shiroda in south Goa, got himself into more trouble. Media reports claimed the state industries department had agreed to pay Vedanta Real Estate Developers, a firm the MLA and his brothers run, Rs 3,500 per square metre for 1,83,524 sq. m. of orchard land in Shiroda acquired in 2012 for an industrial township. This, reports stated, was way higher than the Rs 350 per sq. m. another land owner who had volunteered to give his land for the project had asked for as compensation. Vedanta was expected to rake in Rs 70 crore, of which Rs 6.5 crore had already been paid.

Shirodkar claimed the state government started paying in instalments only six years after acquiring the land, that too after he met Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar last year. “I could have earned big interest had I received the money in time,” the MLA said, claiming the compensation was “based on the latest land deal in the area”. The Congress has said it will challenge the land deal in court.

Amid all this, the defections caused trouble within the BJP.

Furious with Sopte’s induction, former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar questioned Parrikar’s strategy to form a government despite not having a majority in the assembly. Parsekar, who lost the poll to Sopte, declared he wouldn’t support his candidature as a BJP nominee in the upcoming bypoll in Mandrem.

Meanwhile, the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), mentored by former RSS functionary Subhash Velingkar, sees the dissent within the BJP as an opportunity to enter the assembly. Believed to have earned respect as a teacher in Mandrem, Velingkar is likely to be fielded by the party in the bypoll. Political analysts believe the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), though a coalition partner of the BJP, is upset with its refusal to make Sudin Dhavalikar the chief minister during Parrikar’s illness, and is also likely to support the GSM in a tacit understanding.

Meanwhile, the BJP is considering health minister Vishwajit Rane, assembly speaker Pramod Sawant and state president Vinay Tendulkar as possible successors to Parrikar. Sawant called on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on October 22 to make a pitch for himself. And Rane is keen on poaching more MLAs from his former party, the Congress, who can vouch for him.

Source: India Today

In Goa, fault lines widen in BJP as leaders squabble among themselves

The political situation in Goa continues to be in a flux. After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lured away two Congress MLAs — Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar — observers believed state politics would return to normalcy.

However, the arrival of the two ‘rebel’ Congressmen has brought the infighting in the BJP to the fore.

Former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has given vent to his ire at the two Congressmen being inducted into the saffron party without informing him.

Parsekar had lost to Sopte in the 2017 assembly election from the Mandrem constituency.

Parsekar recently criticized the BJP leadership for this move. He also criticised Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar for inducting the two Congressmen.

The infighting between Tendulkar and Parsekar has affected the party cadres and discipline. Considering that the BJP is a cadre-based party with a stress on discipline, the war of words between the two leaders has sent the wrong signal to the party rank and file.

The absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from public life is not only also affecting the administration but also the political situation in the state.

Party workers feel that situation would have been totally different if Parrikar was active. The Goa BJP cadres are also confused about the leadership.

On other hand regional parties like Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) which are coalition partners in the government are pressuring BJP leadership to assure stability of the government in the absence of CM Parrikar.

Political observers say that if the current situation persists BJP will certainly lose its credibility and face a hard time during the 2019 general elections.

In the 40-seat Goa assembly, BJP and Congress have 14 seats each; MGP, GFP and Independents have three seats each; while Nationalist Congress Party has a seat, two are vacant.

Parsekar is a frustrated, semi-literate idiot, must not be taken seriously: Tendulkar privately tells his supporters

Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar on Tuesday accused his party colleague Laxmikant Parsekar and former Goa CM of using “bad” words and abusive language against party chief Amit Shah, CM Manohar Parrikar and himself.

In a related development, Tendulkar is understood to have told his party workers who complained to him about Parsekar’s actions that Parsekar is frustrated and angry that he was not called for the meeting with Amit Shah and not informed in advance about the induction of former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte into the BJP fold.

Also Read: Tendulkar threatens to sack Parsekar from Goa BJP after the former CM uses foul language, abuses Tendulkar

According to unconfirmed and unverified reports in the BJP, Tendulkar is understood to have told BJP workers and his close associates:

Parsekar is a frustrated, semi literate idiot who must not be taken seriously. He thinks he is a big leader, but in reality he is nothing. 

IndiaScoops.com was unable to independently confirm the above statement as Tendulkar refused to speak on his ‘tiff’ with Parsekar saying that it was an internal and private ‘party matter’, which cannot be discussed with the media.

Tendulkar also sought an apology from Parsekar for what he called using bad words against him, Shah and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar during a telephonic talk.

Parsekar, a former chief minister, had criticised the local party unit for not taking him into confidence before inducting Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte into the BJP.

Sopte and another Congress legislator Subhash Shirodkar, who won from Shiroda constituency, had joined the BJP last week.

Sopte had defeated Parsekar in Mandrem constituency during the 2017 Assembly elections.

“Parsekar has left nothing to be discussed about. He has given bad words to our national president Amit Shah, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and me during a phone conversation with me,” said Tendulkar, who is also a Rajya Sabha member from Goa.

“I will speak to Parsekar only when he apologises to me and those against whom he has given bad words,” he said.

Tendulkar said he had not informed Shah about the incident.

“But our national president will get the report about the incident,” he added.

Tendulkar said he has put the entire incident behind him and is working for strengthening the organisation ahead of by-polls in Mandrem and Shiroda constituencies.

Parsekar was not available for comments.

Amit Shah, Goa BJP leaders promised me a Cabinet berth, GTDC chairmanship for joining party: Dayanand Sopte

Former Congress’ Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte, who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this week, on Sunday announced that the saffron party has promised and guaranteed him a Cabinet berth next month and until then he has been assured of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairmanship, reports The Herald.

The BJP in Goa is likely to have a Cabinet rejig after Diwali and portfolios are expected to be reallocated, sources said.

Addressing around 500 supporters at a meeting in Mandrem constituency, Sopte said that BJP has assured him of getting support from former MLA Laxmikant Parsekar and the alliance partners- MGP and Goa Forward Party.

“They promised me that they would convince Parsekar to support me so that we could work together,” Sopte is reported to have told his supporters.

“I joined BJP only for development of the constituency and to ensure jobs to my people,” he said.

He said that during his meeting with BJP state leaders and Amit Shah he demanded jobs for the people, development, ministry and support from BJP workers and Parsekar.

“The Party leadership has promised me a ministry next month and till then I will be appointed as GTDC Chairman,” he said.

Former Goa CM Parsekar has already expressed his anguish over the party’s decision to induct his arch rival Sopte and has announced to work against Sopte in the coming by-election.

Meanwhile, Sopte said that despite being in the Congress he had a cordial relationship with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP Ministers and MLAs.

“That is the reason that irrespective of the fact that I was in Opposition, Government gave Rs 32 crore to my constituency for developmental works in 18 months,” Sopte said.

Lashing out at the Congress, Sopte said that despite emerging as single largest party Congress failed to form Government only because they could not finalise their leader.

“After that, we got three different opportunities to form government but even after that we failed. Only because there was more than one leader,” he said.

Sopte recalled how the then Congress MLA and current BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane had asked him to quit the party along with him soon after Assembly election results in 2017. “But then, I did not wanted to betray the people, who had voted for me,” he said.

Source: Herald & Agencies