MARGAO: A large crowd gathered at Lohia Maidan, Margao to protest the government formation, unanimously adopted resolutions asking the elected representatives who have betrayed the mandate to resign and seek a fresh mandate and also sought the dismissal of the Governor for not honouring time-bound traditions with regards to government formation.
Derogatory words and terms were shouted by the crowd every time Minister Vijai Sardesai’s name was spoken by the speakers and he was castigated for misleading the people to presume that he was against the BJP.
Former Union Minister Ramakant Khalap and Tennyson Fernandes recalled BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s action in 1996 when on realising that he did not have the numbers he left the Lok Sabha to tender his resignation and questioned why Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar did not emulate Vajpayee if he considers the former PM his mentor.
Khalap, while reminding the crowd that Parrikar had earlier dissolved the House without even getting a cabinet approval, challenged him to dissolve the present House and seek a fresh mandate. He reminded the gathering how he had got then MLA Felipe Neri Rodrigues bodily lifted out of the Assembly when he realised he was losing the trust vote.
“While Vajpayee lost the vote but won the hearts of all Indians, Parrikar won the vote but lost the trust and faith of all Goans,” said Fernandes.
Activist Swati Kerkar asserted that Sardesai’s move to support the BJP government was pre-planned and expressed happiness that people are protesting this chicanery to show that Goans are no longer sussegad.
Nationalist Congress Party General Secretary Avinash Bhonsle, ridiculing his party MLA Churchill Alemao for supporting the BJP-led government assured that the party will take action against Alemao and called Sardesai a characterless person who has destroyed Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn.
Dismissing Sardesai’s statement that coconut will be re-classified as a tree shortly, he said the damage is already done as coconut trees have been chopped in Sanguem to set up a beer factory.
Rahul Basu of Goenchi Mati Movement accused the BJP of giving the mining lobby a free hand by not auctioning the mining leases afresh but merely renewing the leases thereby depriving the State of crores of rupees of income.
Jose Mario Miranda, protesting the betrayal of the people’s mandate by his MLA Sardesai, said the constituency may see development in future but the fact remains that Sardesai has destroyed morality and endangered democracy.
An emotional Dr Francisco Colaco revealed some of the horrifying tales Sardesai’s aides Mohandas Lolyenkar, Dilip Prabhudessai and Prashant Naik told about Manohar Parrikar and how they had said there could never be an alliance with a vindictive person like Parrikar.
He also revealed the flip flops of Damu Naik, the defeated BJP candidate in the constituency, and his challenge to Naik to resign from the BJP if he was really indignant about the developments, was greeted with a loud applause.
He ended his address by stating that Sardesai will be tormented by his shadow for the rest of his life but he said he forgave Sardesai “despite knowing what you did”.
All India Congress Committee Secretary Girish Chodankar, in a fiery speech, pointed out that the people had rejected BJP as its number was reduced to 13 MLAs and its chief minister was defeated by a margin of over 6000 votes.
He also questioned the Governor’s hurry in inviting Parrikar to form the government on March 12 while the BJP has not yet elected its leader in Uttar Pradesh while in other States the legislature party leaders are elected now. He said the present government has been formed by casino owners and said all details will be revealed in court as a FIR has been filed against him and he did not want to spill the beans now.
Advocate Aires Rodrigues in a fiery address cautioned Buenos Aires-born Sardesai not to expect any bonus from “this Aires” and wondered whether the Margao ODP which Sardesai had termed a scam would become a bigger scam now.
He cautioned that development in Fatorda will come at a price of destruction of Goa and demanded that Sardesai not be made the TCP minister if Goa has to survive. He also dismissed Sardesai’s claim that he joined hands with BJP because it was ruling at Centre. “That BJP was in power at Centre was known even before the elections, so who is he trying to fool now?” he asked.
Claiming that Parrikar rules only with threats and blackmails he took a pot shot at the Chief Minister saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted an excuse to dismiss Parrikar as the Minister as all three defence chiefs had complained against his habit of sleeping during even important meetings.
Datta Naik ridiculed Sardesai’s claim of honouring his promise to Parrikar and asked what happened to the promise to the voters of Fatorda. He wondered how the Dhavalikar brothers who were sacked as ministers could now join hands with BJP again.
He also revealed a lot of behind the scenes developments that took place since the results were declared and asserted that Sardesai had all along planned to join hands with the BJP but was only playing with the Congress.
He wondered how mining-affected people from Bicholim and Mormugao talukas could elect BJP MLAs and similarly how Catholic candidates like Nilesh Cabral, Michael Lobo and Francis D’Souza could be elected on BJP ticket.
Accusing Sardesai of insulting core values of Goenkarponn he said it was time to throw the Goa Forward Party in the gutters of time.