Herald: Goa BJP: A ‘house of cards’ in the making

Goa BJP: A ‘house of cards’ in the making

28 Oct 2018 05:44am IST

Report by
Suraj Nandrekar

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28 Oct 2018 05:44am IST

Report by
Suraj Nandrekar

Something is rotten in the state of BJP! A simple alteration to Shakespeare’s most iconic phrase can sum up mood of the Goa BJP, where feud between party chief Vinay Tendulkar and ex-CM Laxmikant Parsekar and outbursts by leaders including Dy Speaker Michael Lobo have become a routine. From ouster of ministers Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar among others to bringing Subash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte from opposition camp hasn’t gone down well. Laxmikant Parsekar and Francis D’Souza speak on the ongoing bitterness within the party to Suraj Nandrekar

HERALD: Do you think BJP misses Manohar Parrikar’s presence in terms of unity, discipline, relevance and effectiveness in state politics?

D’SOUZA:Well, when the chief minister is sick it is for the party to stand up and take a decision. Of course, a senior leader like Parrikar’s absence would be felt anywhere but then there have to be alternate arrangements made. People of the state have to be told what has happened to their leader. A health bulletin has to be released every week. Political parties don’t work on one individual. Similarly, in state politics, Chief Minister has to take responsibility of every citizen.

 

HERALD: While BJP is importing Congress MLAs, do you think it is at the cost of BJP’s own home grown leaders and cadre?

D’SOUZA: The party. I don’t know what is going around in the mind of top leaders. They are forgetting the old leaders who built the party here. They seem to be just honeymooning with the new leaders they have got now. For me, I have sacrificed so much, but the treatment meted out to me is more painful than the cancer that I have suffered. It is simply unbearable.


HERALD:   BJP seniors like Sripad, Parsekar, Arlekar and others  who laid the foundation of BJP are being ignored and are coming out openly against the current dispensation, BJP minority MLAs have gone quiet and distant, BJP cadres such as seen in Shiroda are openly revolting; do you feel that BJP Goa is a house - divided?

D’SOUZA: Forget that, the tussle or the feud between two senior leaders at a time when the chief minister is so critical, I feel has put the morale of the workers down. On one hand, you are getting in people from opposition parties and on the other hand, you are now telling the same karyakartas to work for their opponents in this coming by-elections – Is this fair? The biggest strength of the party is their karyakartas and if they are divided then I don’t know what to say.  


HERALD:  Do you think BJP misses Manohar Parrikar’s presence in terms of unity, discipline, relevance and effectiveness in state politics?
PARSEKAR:  It is for you to judge not me. But why do you feel that the absence of Manohar Parrikar is hurting state politics? There are many other former ministers and BJP leaders, whose absence is being felt. They are either sick or have lost elections.  In any case, we have the state party president Vinay Tendulkar, who is supposed to fill the void in the party and bring people together. But instead he is become a white elephant for the party. On effectiveness, I feel there are other capable leaders, who can handle the situation if given a chance.

HERALD: While BJP is importing Congress MLAs, do you think it is at the cost of BJP’s own home grown leaders and cadre?
PARSEKAR: The BJP today is going for short term gains, they are committing the same mistakes what Congress did few years ago. They are lacking vision for future. Now, tell me how can they bring in Dayanand Sopte and sacrifice a loyal soldier like Laxmikant Parsekar? Mind you, Sopte has deserted the party in 2011 and has crossed over again now. How can we trust him again? I can understand, if a constituency like Cumbharjua or Dabolim where BJP had never won. But here are constituencies where you have been winning and just one loss and you disown the senior leaders.

HERALD:  BJP seniors like Sripad, Parsekar, Arlekar and others  who laid the foundation of BJP are being ignored and are coming out openly against the current dispensation, BJP minority MLAs have gone quiet and distant, BJP cadres such as seen in Shiroda are openly revolting; do you feel that BJP Goa is a house - divided?
PARSEKAR: Yes definitely, the BJP is totally divided on the issue. The moral of the karyakartas (workers) is down not only in Mandrem and Shiroda but in entire Goa. This is the time when a senior leader is critical, the party president should have stood up and boosted the moral of the karyakartas and the leaders, but we have Tendulkar, who is hell bent on dividing the party. See for yourself the procedure adopted in case of dropping Francis D’Souza and myself. Shouldn’t we expect some respect from the party?
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