Friday 14 December 2018

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Is BJP on a back foot @ Parrikar 60?

 

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party appears to be attempting to justify 60th birthday celebration of defence minister Manohar Parrikar while the opposition Congress caught the saffron brigade on a wrong foot.

It was only when the Congress asked how Parrikar can have a mega bash on his 60th birthday when Chennai is crying for help due to unprecedented floods, the BJP government took steps to mobilise funds for the flood relief.

Till then, the relief sent from Goa was only from two centrally-controlled organisations – the Mormugao Port Trust and the Coast Guard, Goa.

The BJP government has now set up ‘Chief Minister of Goa Chennai Relief Fund’ while appealing to the central and state government employees to contribute one-day salary towards flood relief.

He has also appealed to his legislative colleagues, including ministers and opposition MLAs, to contribute one day’s salary while opening an account to collect the funds.

He has even made a fervent request to his party workers and sympathisers not to issue media advertisements congratulating Parrikar on his birthday but to contribute this amount to raise relief fund for the rain-ravaged southern state of Tamil Nadu.

“No one needs to tell us what our duty is. My government knows it well”, said Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar while making these announcements yesterday.

But it was more than obvious that he was referring to the bomb shells AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar dropped in the BJP government even by questioning morale of Parrikar – the national minister – having a birthday bash during a calamity.

Perhaps it was for the first time in the last three and a half years that two BJP leaders had separate press conferences in Panaji and Margao the same day to counter Chodankar’s allegations.

While both MLA Pramod Sawant and BJP vice president Damu Naik denied using government machinery for Parrikar’s birthday, it was a typical counter-attack like Congress is frustrated and it is an election gimmick etc.

They even tried to defend Parrikar stating that he was not celebrating his birthday but ‘people of Goa’ are paying gratitude to the undisputable leader of Goa.

In reality, it is primarily the BJP that is mobilising 50,000 people for the mega birthday at Campal grounds in Panaji on 13 December.

Neither Sawant nor Damu and even CM Parsekar made any attempt to reply to the four questions posed by Chodankar, while demanding that Parrikar should cancel the birthday bash.

The demand of birthday cancellation could very well sound political since it is not a government function, but why Chodankar’s questions were not answered is a question that remains.

Chodankar has asked what achievements Parrikar is celebrating – the increased number of cease fire violations at national borders since he had taken up as defence minister, closure of mines during his regime as the chief minister, his failure to recover Rs 35,000 crore from the mining lease holders and pushing the state economy into ‘loan economy’.

Everyone knows that mines did not close due to Parrikar’s fault and the Congress has no moral right to question closure of mines since the illegalities were committed under ‘close supervision’ of the Congress government led by Digambar Kamat.

But it is also a fact that the BJP government has failed to recover anything (in case the figure of Rs 35,000 crore is a miscalculation) from those who threw away all the rules and regulations to the wind to loot the state.

While the BJP is fully justified if it says that Parrikar is the right authority (the defence minister) to speak on border security issue, it is surprising that Parsekar – the finance minister of the state – has not told the people the financial state of Goa when allegations are made by the opposition.

The question thus remains to be answered – is the BJP deliberately following a strategy to ignore the opposition or taking an excuse of this political strategy to escape the questions which it cannot answer in a convincing manner?






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