Former party president of the BJP Goa unit and former chief minister of Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar in conversation with Savio Rodrigues, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of IndianExpose.com expresses his disappointment about the functioning of the party in state and also sounds of alarm bells for Amit Shah, BJP national president to hear of the falling from grace of the BJP in Goa…
IndianExpose: What has upset, a normally patient political leader, like you, after your decades long relationship with BJP in Goa. You are one of the founding members?
Laxmikant Parsekar: I am one of the founding members of BJP in Goa. BJP has been my family for so many years. Many senior leaders like me have always put party before our self interest.
Today, I feel that I have been taken for granted by certain members in the party who are driven by their own ambitions and not party’s vision.
I am upset because I can see a party I have helped build start to disintegrate.
IE: Could you please elaborate what you mean and what has really upset you?
LP: I was a former party president and chief minister of my party in the state. I am also an existing core committee member.
Mandrem is a constituency that I have nurtured for years.
I woke up one morning a few days ago to the news that a Congress MLA who defeated me in my constituency has been inducted into the BJP. I was neither consulted on this decision nor was I informed about the decision.
This decision was not even put up before the core committee members in the state.
This was a decision of a few members in the BJP working to sabotage the interests of the BJP in Goa and further their own personal ambition.
My question is simple, why was there no core committee members collective decision taken on this.
IE: Is the sabotage you are referring to an internal members move or internal move guided by external forces to weaken the BJP in Goa?
LP: Let me state quite candidly that BJP in Goa is being sabotage by internal members within the BJP.
I cannot at this stage state whether any external forces are working to weaken the party in the state.
The opportunists are taking advantage of chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s illness and trying to usurp power in their control through lobbying in Delhi with leaders who have not understood the ground situation in Goa.
IE: Some core committee members last month were attempting to have a change of leadership in Goa. However, only a few core committee members were taken into confidence. You were not one of them. Do you care to comment?
LP: There are many decisions in the last few months that have been taken without the consent of the entire core committee.
I am one of the core committee member who has not been informed on many decisions taken by a few core committee members who feel that they’re closeness to Parrikar will be their shield in the mischief playing.
I am glad that our national president Amit Shah could see the game and not fall trap into replacing Parrikar at this point of time. But the solution in temporary and there is a need for a permanent solution.
IE: Is the party president Vinay Tendulkar trying to upstage Manohar Parrikar?
LP: I would not like to throw a stone in the mud. The acts, the decisions and the behaviour of those who are walking without the entire BJP core committee in the state is clear for the karyakatas of the party, people of Goa and party high command to see.
The decision of the last few weeks have been erratic, based on self-interests and have affected the moral of the BJP workers in the state.
It does not matter if a person like Vinay Tendulkar holds two position in the state. But, what is important is that he does justice to both the positions. And that is for the party to analyse, evaluate and take a call.
IE: Did you raise your concerns with the BJP high command. Observers were sent to Goa to gather views about the political crisis in Goa?
LP: The observers of the central leadership did take the views off most the core committee members.
They had their own analysis based on their understanding of the location political situation and on the basis of that they shared their opinion with the high command.
The problem with Goa however is that it is a small state and political equations are not always what it is made out to be.
If it was then BJP would have had second-in-line chief minister to take over the baton from Manohar Parrikar and continue the race of governance.
It is not an easy situation for BJP currently in Goa especially in a coalition government. Therefore it is important that the party keep the loyalists in BJP closer and trust them more.
IE: What do you mean keep the loyalists closer and trust them more?
LP: BJP in Goa has grown on the shoulders and with sweat of many leaders who have sacrificed a lot to bring the party to prominence. Manohar Parrikar, Shripad Naik, Rajendra Arlekar, Francis D’Souza, Dayanand Mandrekar and many more have contributed to growth of BJP in the state.
The party has succeeded because it had loyal workers who worked tirelessly for the party and continue to do so even today.
But since Parrikar’s illness and an unintentional failure of the party high command to properly assess the situation at ground-level, we are destroying the trust we have built with our loyal workers and with the people of Goa who have supported us for many years.
My question to BJP is simple who are spreading false rumours about me. I have committed so much of my life to this party and so have my workers. Don’t I deserve the courtesy and respect to be taken into confidence about a decision about my political career linked with the party future. Do we not teach our party loyalists that we will always stand for them and for those who work for the interests of the party.
They behaved in a similar manner to Francis D’Souza. He was not also informed about changes in his political position.
IE: Will you be contesting the Mandrem constituency? If so would be doing it on a Congress ticket?
LP: All I want to say is that I will not let myself or my supporters be taken for granted by the party if it choses to side with those who are not working in the interest of the party. I will not reveal my cards right now.
IE: Do you have a message for the party high command?
LP: If the party high command fails to understand the feelings of the party workers in the state and their desires within the party, the party will disintegrate.
We were a party where everyone worked together with one focus that is growth of the state and party.
We all depended on each other and stood by each other in our decisions.
We trusted each other and supported each other.
I feel we are allowing some members in the party to destroy this unity in the state. We were a united BJP now we are a fragmented BJP.