March 31 – April 6, 2014

Team GS

There were so many ways to ask the electorate to vote for the BJP. But Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar chose this route: “It is states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Tamil Nadu that decide which government will rule at the Centre. With two seats we cannot decide the national mandate.”  Apart from the negative imagery, even if what he says is true, the

Mining votes

That may or may not be true, but BJP will have no role to play on the ban on mining because it is up to the Supreme Court not the government, which is hearing the case, and whose decision is expected shortly.  Parrikar has already been put in the dock with North Goa Congress candidate, Ravi Naik, underlining that it was the BJP which was “reckless” in suspending mining, before the apex court banned it. According to Ravi Naik, “The good work of the Goan entrepreneurs has been brought to a grinding halt by the present government in the state”.

Who are they really batting for?

But Ravi Naik has created something of a self-goal when he says, “Here I would like to make a mention of the efforts of Goan business houses - the Dempos, Salgaonkars, Chowgules, Agrawals, Sesa and others who by starting mining in Goa created job opportunities, which have led to the progress of Goans.”

Claude Alvares of the Goa Foundation begs to differ. He says, “Only Rs. 620 crores (620,00,00,000)  was put in by the mining companies. Yet the mining companies polished off Rs. 48.000 crore (48000,00,00,000), from 2004- 2009, for which we have figures, which are legitimate assets of the Goan population. And here’s another example of how Goans were the losers. “All that extra growth (largely because of illegal mining) did not go to Goans but to mining companies. Nearly half of it went to one company, Sesa Goa, which is controlled by Anil Agarwal in London.”

So the bottomline is that both Congress and the BJP are playing politics and shedding crocodile tears for Goans, when it’s the mine-owners ,who have made them fat cats, are the ones they are really batting for!

When the boot is on the other foot

Last year, Minister for Art and Culture Dayanand Mandrekar called an IPS officer a “goon” at a meeting where other police officers were present and all because the cop was raiding rave parties on the coast at which drugs were being smoked or snorted. But even Parrikar, who is also the home minister, let him slide.

But the liquored up Anjuna resident who abused Mandrekar because of “non-development” of the constituency (Siolim) at a BJP booth level meeting last week ended up behind bars briefly. So cops look the other way when one of their own is abused by a minister for doing his job, whereas they arrest someone who abuses a minister for not doing his job? Unbelievable!

Quid pro quo

It’s no secret that politicians hand out government largesse in return for loyalty at election time. But no one admits to it. Parrikar was however brazen about it last week. Speaking to BJP workers in Ponda – Congress candidate Ravi Naik’s turf – he said: “Our workers deserve to get benefits first simply because we have implemented the schemes and not other parties. We will not make any discrimination and all genuine beneficiaries will get the benefits.”  So there must be more than an element of truth in it when he has been accused of indulging sympathizers of the BJP in the government’s social welfare schemes.