Herald: Instead of maligning me, opposition should have an agenda: Monserrate

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Instead of maligning me, opposition should have an agenda: Monserrate

17 May 2019 06:03am IST
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17 May 2019 06:03am IST

HERALD: How did your manifesto come into being?

Atanasio Monserrate: We had asked the people of Panjim for suggestions about what want to see in their city in the coming future. The whole document of Vision Panjim is based on their suggestions. 

H: There are cases against you and your opponents have been highlighting these cases. How do you see it?

AM: Instead of maligning me, they should actually have an agenda for the people. My character assassination is not going to help anyone. Nobody is going to use my character certificate for their jobs or for that matter any purpose of theirs. Therefore, I am focussed on my agenda, which is the welfare of the people.  Regarding the smear campaign is concerned, when someone puts an allegation against you, you can do nothing but you got to fight those allegations. I thank God that atleast there are courts, which are impartial. 

H: How do you see the 25 years of BJP and more particularly (late) Manohar Parrikar?

AM: Does it look like that the 25 years of BJP has helped Panjim. There is a cry from every youth of Panjim, that they have never been given job opportunities. While other constituencies such as Valpoi has almost 70 – 80 percent of their constituents employed because of their MLAs. Here, despite having an MLA at the position of Chief Minister or Leader of Opposition and then holding top positions in the country, the people were not provided for.  I would rather say that it’s not the question of not being able to provide but there should be a commitment to deliver. You should have the desire and say, ‘Yes I can do’. It should strike you that you want to help people. And that is my motto. I want to work for the people.

H: But BJP claims they have done infrastructure development for the city. Is that not development?

AM: You should ask the people of Panjim. For 25 years the people of Panjim have not spoken and they have now begun to speak. And they know that nothing has been done. They have been neglected for the last 25 years. Whereas on the other side, I have only two and half years and for these two and half years I have a vision document for Panjim.

H: How far do you think your Vision Document is implementable?

AM: I am sure 80 percent of the vision document and the promises I have made, will be completed in these two and half years. The most important promise is employment. I will see that maximum youth of Panjim get employment. I have been only asking the people of Panjim to make me the MLA of Panjim, and then they can judge me based on my report card of what I have done in these two and a half years and what I have failed to achieve.

H: How do you intend to create employment opportunities in Panjim?

AM: Valpoi does not have industries, yet 70 percent of the people employed are all in government sector. My focus is also on providing government jobs since there cannot be industries set up in the capital for employment opportunities. 

H: Do you think being an opposition MLA you would be able to achieve it?

AM: I know my capacity and capability to achieve what I have promised even when I am in the opposition side. 

H: Is Babush’s re-entry into the Assembly going to lead to a change in the government as speculated?

AM: I cannot say anything about a new government, but things can happen. First of all BJP has robbed the people’s mandate, especially that of the Congress. The party, then had 17 plus one of Rohan Khaunte, who was a product of Congress’s support.  So eighteen and support of other supporting parties, yet they were robbed of the mandate. People of Panjim are waiting to give that mandate back to Congress.

H: You have alleged rape case pending against you and the victim in the case has gone missing and rumours are that you have a hand behind it?

AM: Don’t you feel it is surprising that when the elections are just a few days away, such a thing happens? I actually do not want to say anything in the case since the matter is in the court and it’s for the police to do what they have to do. I have nothing to do about what happens to anyone and it’s the police’s responsibility. Since the matter is in the court, I will go by the court’s decision.

H: With just a couple of days remaining, what will be the focus during the campaign?

AM: There is no special strategy. My basic strategy is to reach out to each and everyone. 

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