“There is a serious lack of leadership and vision in the Congress both at the Centre and at the state” “In Goa, we have many leaders in the Congress who aspire to get the top positions and in their greedy ambition, they keep fighting amongst themselves” Subhash Shirodkar
A day after flying to Delhi and joining the BJP, veteran Goa Congress leader and former minister Subhash Shirodkar spoke to IndianExpose Founder and Editor-in-Chief of IndianExpose SAVIO RODRIGUES.
IndianExpose (IE): You are a senior leader of the Congress in Goa, you have also been a party president. What prompted you to leave the Congress and join the BJP at this juncture in your political career?
Subash Shirodkar (SS): Having been with the Congress in a senior position for many years, I can confidently state there is a serious lack of leadership and vision both at the Centre and at the state. Either you are a part of a coterie or you are a leader with your own coterie. Neither people nor party interests are put forward, but personal interests or demands of the coterie are.
IE: Are you saying Congress lacks leadership at the state and Centre?
SS: Yes, there is a serious crisis of leadership in the Congress. In Goa, we have many leaders in the Congress who aspire to get the top positions and in their greedy ambition, they keep fighting amongst themselves. Look at what happened post the Goa Assembly Elections in 2017; we were the single-largest party with 17 MLAs, we could have easily formed the government, if we had set aside our personal egos and ambitions. But unfortunately for many in the Congress, especially the workers and voters, our internal issues were the cause of our failure to form the government. The biggest blame however should be placed on the central leaders who were appointed to look into the affairs in Goa. They never assessed the ground situation, they were happy pandering to different coteries. They could not even stamp their authority when there was a leadership crisis of the Congress, post the election result. The trend one is witnessing in Goa, is the same trend that one can see at the Centre.
IE: But Rahul Gandhi put the central leaders in charge of Goa? What is your opinion about his leadership?
SS: In my personal and political opinion, I am not inspired by Rahul Gandhi as I am inspired by Narendra Modi over the last couple of years. I think he is not right leader for the Congress at this point of time. A senior Congress leader would have been a better option or even Priyanka Gandhi. She has better leadership qualities than her brother. Under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership I do not see Congress going too far.
IE: You mention that you are inspired by Modi. Are you saying that because you just joined the BJP?
SS: As politician and more so as an Indian it is good to see India progressing under the inspired leadership of Prime Minister Modi. I see a lot of difference in the progress that India has made with the guidance of Modi and I am confident, we will see a northward climb in socio and economic growth in the country. The focus on development is what India needed.
Even in Goa, BJP’s focus has been development. Something Congress in Goa failed to do holistically in the entire state for then ten years they were ruling before BJP. Ministers in power, were only keen to develop their own constituency. Today, even though, I was a Congress MLA, BJP was working in developing my constituency without any bias. Therefore, I thought, if I am with BJP, how much more good can I do for my people, my constituency and my state.
IE: So you joined BJP to develop your constituency, or because you were paid to join?
SS: I joined BJP because I believe that BJP will bring development and growth to my constituency and state. And I do not think it is wrong for a politician to make a political move in the interests of his people and leave a political party that does not put his people first. I am loyal to my people and to my state. I decided to join BJP because if Goa is to have a future socio-economic growth it is going to happen only with BJP at the state and Centre.
We have the crisis of mining, we crisis of jobs, we have crisis in several sectors of business in the state, I believe that BJP will resolve all this with its unique state and centre relationship model that Goa enjoys.