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