MARGAO: Those who had pinned high hopes on the Parrikar government to vigorously pursue Goa’s case for special status may have to wait for couple of months for the dispensation to move the Centre.
In fact, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday maintained that special status for Goa is certainly not on his top priority
Parrikar on Monday asserted that his first priority is to clean up Goa – including weeding out corruption, putting traffic and garbage management in place. He added that his government will take up special status with the Centre over a period of time. “I am open to lead a delegation to the Centre. But, my first priority is to clean up Goa. We should do that first. Special status can be taken up over a period of time. I am ready to take up the case, but that does not mean it is first on our priority”, Parrikar told newsmen on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Thomas Cook office at the Osia Mall here on Monday morning.
In fact, the Chief Minister said that special status will be taken up with the Centre as and when it is possible to fix a meeting. “I don’t think a delegation is required at this stage. As a first step, government will talk to the Central government on the issue”, he said.
And, Parrikar threw the ball in the Congress court on the issue with ease. “Delegation will be taken only when the Congress shows interest in coming to the delegation and talk to their people in Delhi. What is the point in taking a delegation to the Prime Minister? The Congress should first convince their party men since special status will require a Constitutional Amendment”, Parrikar said.
When asked whether it is possible to get special status for Goa at this juncture, Parrikar shot back “it is possible, but I don’t know the time frame. And, you have to take up issues based on their priority. If you ask me, I will go for a garbage solution, better traffic management and freeing the state from corruption to a large extent”, adding “May be, I will take up the issue of special status after 2-3 months”.
Meanwhile, when Herald drew Parrikar’s attention to the government’s apathy to River Sal despite his directions, he said the process is on and it will take some time before work on the River Sal restoration takes off. “The exercise is on. You have to tender the works and it will take some time. My wishes do not make every one efficient, you have to push”, he said, adding that he would soon return to Margao and Salcete to redress grievances of the people.