GOA: UN­EASY LIES THE HEAD

CHIEF MIN­IS­TER PARSEKAR IS ON SHAKY GROUND WITHIN HIS OWN PARTY

India Today - - INSIDE - By Ki­ran D. Tare

Goa chief min­is­ter Laxmikant Parsekar ar­rives at 8:45 pm to ad­dress a cor­ner meet­ing with his neigh­bour­hood vot­ers in Har­mal. Parsekar, who is fight­ing his sixth elec­tion, be­gins on an emo­tional note. “My sched­ule has changed since I be­came chief min­is­ter,” he says. I have not even been able to visit my ail­ing mother in the past six months be­cause there is so much re­spon­si­bil­ity on me.” Clearly, he was try­ing to jus­tify the ‘ab­sence’ from his con­stituency, Man­drem, in north Goa.

Cornered by op­po­nents over his failed promises and vendetta politics, Parsekar also has his own vot­ers to pla­cate. But the for­mer school prin­ci­pal has judged the sit­u­a­tion well. He is fo­cus­ing on the devel­op­ment works his gov­ern­ment has car­ried out and the many so­cial se­cu­rity schemes, es­pe­cially for women. The two big in­fra­struc­ture projects—elec­tron­ics city and Mopa air­port— com­ing close to Man­drem will hope­fully be the ic­ing on the cake. “Elec­tron­ics city has a ca­pac­ity to gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment for the next 25 years. Tu­jya bhur­gyank sud­dha han­cho fu­darak faayado jat­alo (Your chil­dren will also ben­e­fit from it),” he says, amidst huge ap­plause.

Iron­i­cally, Parsekar, a tough ad­min­is­tra­tor, has been fac­ing flak within the BJP since he took over as CM from Manohar Par­rikar (now de­fence min­is­ter) in Novem­ber 2014. First, there was a re­volt against his el­e­va­tion from within the ranks, then he was dubbed a ‘pup­pet CM’ who works at Par­rikar’s be­hest. And now, when the BJP is try­ing to re­tain power un­der his lead­er­ship, it is not cer­tain he will be CM af­ter the elec­tion. Union trans­port min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari, the BJP in-charge in Goa, has al­ready de­clared that the party might get Par­rikar back from Delhi.

A BJP source says Parsekar alone is re­spon­si­ble for his trou­bles. He locked horns with three se­nior lead­ers, Sangeeta Parab, Ra­makant Kha­lap and Sub­hash Vel­ingkar. Parsekar does not con­sider Parab and

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