A day after BJP president Amit Shah said the next Goa government would function under Manohar Parrikar’s leadership, party’s state chief Vinay Tendulkar today claimed that people want the Defence Minister to be brought back to Goa. He also said that the RSS is with BJP for the polls. Goa will go to polls on February 4 to elect the 40-member House.
“Parrikar has good mass contact, that is why there is demand coming up from people that he should be brought back to Goa. But the decision on it would be taken by elected MLAs after the polls,” Tendulkar told PTI in an interview today.
However, he refused to divulge on the party’s strategy in this regard.
“Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has clarified that the MLAs will decide their leader. The decision will be taken after the election,” he said.
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On Shah’s statement yesterday about Parrikar, Tendulkar said, “Party president has said that even if he is not made CM, he will be controlling the affairs of Goa.”
“He (Shah) must have said it depending on the demands and expectations of the people. At present, Parrikar and Union ministers Shripad Naik and Nitin Gadkari are leading the party’s campaign in Goa,” he said.
After Gadkari had recently fired up speculations about the Chief Ministerial candidate in poll-bound Goa, Shah yesterday said the next government in the state will “function under Parrikar’s leadership, irrespective of his posting.”
Asked about RSS’s support, Tendulkar said, “Sangh is always with swayamsevakas. They (swayamsevakas) never interfere in politics but their blessings are with us. RSS is with us for this election too,” he said.
Regarding the newly formed Goa Suraksha Manch led by rebel sangh leader Subhash Velingkar, he said, “He (Velingkar) had said that they will form the next government but now they are contesting only on four seats. I don’t think they will be able to win on even one seat. There will not be damage to us. Cadres were with certain ideology. They are with us.”
Tendulkar said BJP would be releasing its Goa manifesto on January 27, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in the poll-bound state.
“The experience of last five years is being used to draft the manifesto. Few things which are left incomplete would be repeated in this manifesto. We have fulfilled 90 per cent assurances given in the 2012 manifesto,” he said.
Mocking the Congress’ manifesto which has assured to ban casinos, Tendulkar said they have promised sky to people as they (Congressmen) know they will not be coming to power.
“Congress through its manifesto is giving false assurances. They were behind getting casinos to Goa. They were the father of illegal mining scam in the state,” he alleged. “Those who don’t want to come to power, they can keep on giving assurances. But in our case whatever is written in the manifesto, it would be completed,” he stressed.
The BJP leader said the party is getting good response during their campaign.
“Initially when we began the campaign we had targeted 26 seats. But while we are in the midst of the campaigning, we see that there is increasing support for the party candidates. Also, the opposition camp is not intact, which is helping us in the election,” he said.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which had severed ties with BJP just before the formal notification of the election, will not have an impact on BJP, Tendulkar said.
“Our organisation is our strength. MGP chief (Dipak Dhavalikar) himself is contesting from Priol constituency. (Another leader) Sudin Dhavalikar might have impact but is only restricted to Madkai constituency. He alone cannot go around the state canvassing for his candidates,” he said.
“We have organisational strength. We have Mahila morcha, yuva morcha and other wings. MGP can’t damage us,” Tendulkar asserted.