Goa polls: Manohar Parrikar, independent MLA clash over instability issue

Ahead of Goa polls, Independent MLA Vijai Sardesai has appealed to people not to give a clear mandate to any party, drawing criticism from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who batted for a clear majority for BJP to maintain stability in the politically volatile state.

“Don’t give a majority to any single party in the upcoming election. You have witnessed the political arrogance of BJP after it got an absolute majority (in 2012 Assembly polls),” Sardesai said while addressing a public meeting in Fatorda village of South Goa late last week.

Parrikar objected to Sardesai’s statement. “There is one MLA who called a public meeting and appealed to people to vote for return of instability in the State so that he can make money,” the former Goa Chief Minister said Sunday evening, referring to the remark by Sardesai.

Parrikar, who moved to the Centre in late 2014, appealed to people to give a clear majority to his party BJP in the 40-member Assembly in Goa, where election is expected in the first quarter of 2017.

He said the ruling BJP will continue with the current pace of development in the State once voted back to power.

Reacting to Parrikar, Sardesai said he never meant Goa should face political instability.

“I made this statement because I felt when there is an absolutely majority, the political party in power becomes arrogant and Goa has been suffering because of it.

“Parrikar, after coming to power (in March 2012), suspended mining operations because he had absolute majority. Similar is the case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who demonetised high value notes,” said the Fatorda MLA, who is currently mentoring Goa Forward Party, a fledgling regional outfit which was launched in January this year.

He questioned the BJP-led Government’s decisions like giving licences to more casinos, Investment Promotion Board selling off prized lands through ‘shoddy’ deals and nationalisation of riverways.

Goa had been plagued by political instability for decades after it attained statehood in 1987 with elections throwing up fractured verdicts and few Chief Ministers lasting for less than a year. However, in the last Assembly polls, BJP won a simple majority, bagging 21 Assembly seats.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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