Congress to Come to Power in Goa With Help of Lo­cal Par­ties

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Congress’ Goa in charge Digvi­jaya Singh says the party has a strong chance of wrest­ing power in Goa, but is un­likely to do so on its own. Re­gional par­ties and in­de­pen­dents can play a cru­cial role in de­cid­ing the fate of the 40 as­sem­bly seats in this coastal town. In an in­ter­view with ET’s Meera Mo­hanty, Singh looks at the pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios. Ex­cerpts:

Your party is ac­cused of fail­ing to play the role of a se­ri­ous Op­po­si­tion in Goa In Goa, the BJP has be­come too Manohar Parrikar-cen­tric, and Parrikar wants a stooge as CM as has been in­di­cated by the state­ments of Amit Shah and Nitin Gad­kari. He spends half his time in Goa. When the PM is pur­chas­ing fighter planes in France, Parrikar is busy sell­ing fish in Goa.

As far as the Congress’ role in the Op­po­si­tion is con­cerned, we have Prat­aps­ingh Rane who had been an ex­ceed­ingly good CM. He is a gen­tle­man and may not have played the role of an Op­po­si­tion as ag­gres­sively. But in the last as­sem­bly ses­sion he moved a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion and although we had an ac­tive strength of only 6 MLAs, we got 14 votes.

You do not have any pre-poll al­liances this time around… We have a seat ar­range­ment with Babush (Atana­sio Jio) Mon­ser­rate of the United Goans Party. I had ac­tu­ally re­quested Vi­jay Sarde­sai (Goa For­ward Party) to join the Congress. He would have been one of the front rank­ing lead­ers of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, but he turned it down. As far as the NCP is con­cerned, they were not AAP is a po­lit­i­cal party that sits around Arvind Ke­jri­wal who is closely as­so­ci­ated with the RSS. The Congress doesn’t be­lieve in votes based on re­li­gion and caste. But yes, we strongly want to make sure that the in­ter­ests of the mi­nori­ties are up­held.

On the is­sue of medium of in­struc­tion, Sub­hash Vel­ingkar (the for­mer state head of the RSS) says English is not an In­dian lan­guage as per the con­sti­tu­tion. With the ex­cep­tion of two states in the north east, he says no English lan­guage schools should get grants... Let me tell you English is a global lan­guage. Talk to any fam­ily in this coun­try and you will re­alise there’s a strong case for English medium schools here. Their fight (be­tween Vel­ingkar’s Goa Su­rak­sha Manch and BJP) is not a clash of ide­olo­gies, in­stead it is a fight of vested in­ter­ests.

Would you con­sider a post-poll pact with the Ma­ha­rash­trawadi Go­man­tak Party? We can con­sider it if the MGP with­draws the is­sue of medium of in­struc­tion. We would like to get a full ma­jor­ity to avoid horse trad­ing. The fight is be­tween Congress and BJP to form gov­ern­ment, all other par­ties are sup­port­ing ac­tors.

Any fear the Cen­tre may take pop­ulist mea­sures in Bud­get? But where’s the money? They will be over­reach­ing them­selves by cross­ing the fis­cal deficit pa­ram­e­ters fixed by the Fis­cal Re­spon­si­bil­ity Act.

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