AIRES RODRIGUES | As Manohar Parrikar completes 100 days in office this week the Chief Minister faces formidable challenges and a uphill task trying to balance Politicians and Political parties who were ideologically poles apart from the BJP prior to the Assembly elections,but suddenly within hours of the assembly results being declared on March 11th all jumped into the same bed. This Tower of Babel has been enveloped in confusion, contradictions and controversies. It has been an unending string of U Turns and reneged promises.
After illegitimately usurping power contrary to the people’s mandate which had voted the BJP out, Manohar Parrikar to assuage the public resentment and outrage, hoodwinked the people of Goa by promising a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) which would guide and steer the functioning of the government of this diverse crew. After a over three month delay that CMP as expected is a damp squib not having even the value of toilet paper. Complete farce and surrender of values. The CMP does not contain anything concrete and far-reaching to truly take Goa Forward. It is mere eyewash far from the promised Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn which no Goan would buy.
While in the Opposition Vijai Sardesai and Rohan Khaunte had consistently demanded the scrapping of the Investment Promotion Board (IPB) which they had alleged was BJP’s massive den for Corruption. Now in a U turn Vijai Sardesai is content with a mere ‘tightening’ of the IPB while Rohan Khaunte is brazenly the new Vice-Chairman of that very board. The scrapping of that IPB would have given some credibility to the CMP. The BJP has already chopped the coconut trees it wanted to. So now declaring it as a State tree will fool no one.
The escalating level of crime is a matter of grave concern while political interference in police functioning is turning Goa into a lawless State. Goa today is very unsafe destination having now evolved as India’s gambling, prostitution and narcotics den.
Vijai Sardesai and his Goa Forward had all along demanded the immediate removal of the Casinos from the River Mandovi. Something which Rohan Khaunte had also been very vociferous about until embracing the BJP. The CMP speaks about shifting of the Casinos but does not stipulate any time frame. Ironically Manohar Parrikar while in the Opposition wanted the Casinos immediately moved out and had even led an agitation to that effect. But after coming to power in 2012 the BJP has only expanded the number of Casinos.
The CMP is silent on enactment of new laws to fulfill the dream of Special Status for Goa and the Denationalization of Goan Rivers. Vijai Sardesai was also very vocal against the Mopa Airport dubbing it as a land scam but has now conveniently gone silent.
This government has miserably failed to display a firm commitment of Zero Tolerance to Corruption and discrimination based on caste or creed. Rampant corruption continues unabated while we are also witnessing total nepotism and sheer display of arrogance. What to eat and whether to use a bikini should be the sole choice of every citizen and there can be no dictates on such issues by the government.
On 18th June Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar assured that Goa would be garbage free by 18th June 2018. But just a day later he said in the Common Minimum Programme released that Goa would be garbage free only by 2022. Manohar Parrikar is either suffering from memory loss or has once again proved to be a pathological liar.
But after having betrayed the trust of the people of Goa who had voted against the BJP, Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vinod Paliencar and the now not so independent Rohan Khaunte are all at the mercy of the BJP as they disgracefully sold themselves to the Saffron brigade for the sake of power and that moolah. And as beggars can be no choosers, they will have to mutely tow and put up with the BJP’s devious agenda to which they so shamelessly surrendered. Under the guise of Goem, Goenkar and Goenkarponn it has been Fot, Foting and Fotingponn all the way.
We now have to find a way forward to rescue a sinking Goa from the current administrative anarchy and to restore democratic values while safeguarding for posterity what little remains of our once beautiful and tranquil State.