BLASTED: The Shiv Sena daily Saamna has condemned Manohar Parrikar and had called him a failed defence minister who is also not competent to be chief minister
Though now it is claimed that Parrikar’s statement that he would go back to Delhi as defence minister if he lost the Panjim election is false, the Shiv Sena has blasted him for his opportunism
By Arindam De
EARLIER this month, on August 16, a video went viral. It was hosted on the website www.primenews-goa.com and its contents were appalling – incumbent Goa chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, was allegedly heard saying, “These elections (the Panaji bye-poll) are important for me, but if I lose, I can always shift to Delhi as Defence Minister.”
Coming from a man with a clean and popular image, this was more than shocking.
By-polls are scheduled in Panaji and Valpoi constituencies on August 23.
Then things moved rather quickly — the news channel being quoted lodged a criminal complaint, stating that its name was being sullied. The chief minister dismissed it as fake news and slander. He said, “There is no such meeting, no such statement. What are they quoting and trying to make some sort of news out of?”
Parrikar termed it as a show of frustration and desperation of the opposition.
On August 17, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s general secretary of Panaji, Pundalik Rautdessai, filed two complaints as the news spread — one with the Election Commission and another, a criminal complaint, with the Cyber Crime Cell of the Goa Police against unnamed accused for propagating fake news against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The complaint with the Election Commission termed the clips and the news circulating mainly on social media platforms “fake” and urged it to take action.
On Friday, August 18, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray tore into Manohar Parrikar on the supposed audio via his editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana. In a rather strongly worded editorial, Thackeray slammed Parrikar for his statement and “prayed” for his loss in the upcoming bye-polls. The Sena chief just stopped short of blaming Parrikar of the electoral performance of BJP in Goa and said that such a statement is an insult to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, he did not specify how the prime minister was insulted.
With the bye-polls around the corner it seems that this controversy has not seen its last. Expect some fireworks in the coming days. The opposition has chosen to be innovative — a spoof on Mumbai RJ Malishka’s “Sonu Song”, the “Mannu song” ironically penned by his relative, Sidhanath Buyao, asks – “Panaji, do you still trust bhai”.
Then there is another set of lyrics penned by Chandan Narvekar and Sant Tuyekar that asks”: “Monu where are the students’ laptops?”
Another song by Goa Suraksha Manch, the party mentored by former RSS chief Subhash Velingkar:
“Mannu we do not trust you” lends an unique flavour to the by-polls.
SHIV SENA FLAYS PARRIKAR
IN A strongly worded editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna, Uddhav Thackeray has even called Parrikar a failure as a defence minister. The editorial says that Parrikar must lose the Panaji bye-poll and let the nation see if he really returns as defence minister.
In the editorial Uddhav says, “the misunderstanding that Manohar Parrikar is a politician with a clean image is bygone now. He himself has stamped his image as a self-centred politician. After failing miserably as the defence minister, he returned to Goa”.
“Parrikar’s arrogant statement that if he loses Panaji by-polls he will return to Delhi as defence minister has not only insulted the chief minister’s post of Goa but has also degraded the defence minister’s post” Uddhav said.
“Actually for a ‘Mahatma’ like Parrikar the elections should have been unopposed. But he turned his back when the borders of the nation were in danger to enjoy his ‘fish curry rice’, isn’t this a great bravery ? He should get a Mahaveer Chakra for this bravery, but instead BJP made him the chief minister of Goa,” Uddhav quipped sarcastically in the editorial.
The Shiv Sena chief alleged that in spite of badly losing the Goa assembly elections, Parrikar managed to form the government. Uddhav said that the Goa chief minister is afraid of a defeat in the by-poll and is insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi by making such a statement. Parrikar’s statement is laughable and an insult to democracy, Uddhav has said.
“The prime minister must explain. Is the defence minister’s post so cheap and orphaned?”, Uddhav questioned.
“The country is fighting the challenges on the borders by China and Pakistan…PM is making all efforts to face them .. but when people like Parrikar degrade the defence minister’s post, he deserves to be defeated. His fear of defeat must come true. The Goans will watch whether he’d really become the defence minister. How long are they going to fool the people of Goa?”, Uddhav said.
The by-election in Panaji and Valpoi constituencies would be held on August 23.
The bye-polls were necessitated following the resignations of BJP’s sitting MLA Sidharth Kuncalienker and the Congress’ Vishwajit Rane, from Panaji and Valpoi seats, respectively.
Parrikar resigned as the defence minister after the BJP formed the government in Goa.
He was sworn-in as the chief minister on March 14 this year. He has to get elected to the Assembly within six months of taking charge as the chief minister.