INDICTED: Govind Gaude has blamed Sudin Dhavalikar for drowning Goa during the monsoon due to large scale corruption. Dhavalikar has a notorious reputation for corruption and has often been called 25% minister for demanding a kick back on each contract
BY RAJAN NARAYAN
The attack on Sudin Dhavalikar by Minister for Culture Govind Gaude, who defeated Deepak Dhavalikar in the Priol constituency, is a part of the battle for succession that we are witnessing in the increasing conviction that Manohar Parrikar will step down. In this political dhirio, Vijai Sardesai, the other heir-apparent is trying to prove more saffron than Sudin by promoting Vedic farming…
Minister for Art and Culture Govind Gaude, who demolished Deepak Dhavalikar, brother of PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, in the Priol constituency, needs to be congratulated. Govind Gaude has the guts to say what the whole of Goa has been saying over the bhatji who has been looting the Public Works Department for decades. Sudin Dhavalikar is the man who is responsible for maintaining the roads in the state. The man who is responsible for the flooding of all over the state. The man who is responsible for the landslides in Canacona. Sudin is the killer who might trigger a landslide in Verna because of the dangerous hill cutting that is going on. For those who participated in off-road driving at the Mahindra Great Escape which took place on July 8, 2018 in Goa, it is a once-a-year adventure. But for Goans, particularly in the monsoons, every day is a great escape. A great escape from falling into a pot hole. A great escape from being drowned in flood waters even if you are in a car. A great escape from the crumbling walls of public buildings built by the PWD and crumbling hills because of reckless hill cutting in the name of development. Never before in the history of Goa has the concrete road built between Miramar and Dona Paula been flooded so badly. And the Kadamba bus station in Goa has turned into an extension of Mandovi river. Only a dirty river of drain water.
Govind Gaude not only blasted Sudin Dhavalikar for being the most inefficient PWD Minister but also being corrupt. Everyone knows that Sudin Dhavalikar is corrupt. In fact when Manohar Parrikar was a chief minister in 2002 and he was forced to give the PWD to Dhavalikar, he created the Goa State Infra-structure Development Corporation (GSIDC) to bypass Sudin Dhavalikar, so that all major PWD projects could be handled by an independent corporation, where Parrikar made himself the chairman, with Sanjit Rodriques as managing director. Never mind that the GSIDC proved to be even more inefficient than the PWD.
The worst part was that even the newly built medicine block of the GMC started developing cracks. The false ceiling of an operation theater came tumbling down on patients and doctors. The GSIDC is yet to complete the district hospital in Margao and took almost five years to complete the district hospital in Mapusa in place of Asilio. There was further delay of two years in commissioning the hospital of state of the art equipment because the out sourcing Maharaja Vishwajit Rane wanted to give to a private party. It must be placed on record that the Dona Paula bypass concrete road was built not by the PWD but by the GSIDC. The favourate contractor of both the PWD and the GSIDC is the Venka Rao from Andhra who is been winning all the major tenders for the last three decades. But Govind Gaude was the first ruling party MLA who asked the very important question. Why does a contractor who has won an open competitive online bid have to meet the PWD minister before starting work? The answer is obvious. Without the PWD Minister getting his cut, no contractor can start his work. It’s a case of baba black sheep all over again. In every contract there is a small share for the PWD engineer. Another medium share for the contractor with the largest share of the money allotted going to the minister. Result is that the contractors have to use poor quality cement and steel and other materials to meet their costs and make a profit after bribing everywhere.
In that sense Sudin Dhavalikar is responsible for every pot hole on the roads of Goa. This is the man whom, if rumours are to be believed, is trusted by the Union Minister for Transport Nitin Gadkari, with his son to be married to Sudin Dhavalikars daughter. We only hope the son of Nitin Gadkari does not fall into a pot hole on the way to the wedding.
The minister for culture clearly has the blessing of the very sick chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar. Manohar Parrikar seems to have a relapsed and was looking more sick then ever according to people on the dais at the Shyam Prakash Mukherjee Stadium, when he was presenting awards to various heads of colleges. It has been officially admitted that soon after the monsoon session of the Assembly, when the budget will be discussed in detail and passed, Manohar Parrikar will be back in New York in the Sloan Kettering Institute. When he will come back is anybody’s guess.
Parrikar is aware that Nitin Gadkari is lobbying very hard with Amit Shah to make his son’s father in law the chief minister of Goa. Manohar Parrikar does not approve of the idea of the Sanatan-connected Sudin Dhavalikar becoming the chief minister. It is entirely possible that Parrikar prompted Govind Gaude to launch an attack on Nitin Gadkari. After all Nitin Gadkari who has a reputation for great efficiency and built the Mumbai-Pune Expressway before schedule and within budget, cannot plead for a minister who drowns Goa as chief minister so what we are witnessing is a succession battle.
Although Nitin Gadkari wants to make Dhavalikar the chief minister, Vijai Sardesai sees no reason why he should not become the chief minister instead. There seems to be strong indication that Vijai Sardesai is willing to merge the Goa Forward (GF) party with the BJP if the bosses in Delhi, and Parrikar in Goa, will accept him as a substitute for Parrikar as chief minister. Why else would the Agriculture Minister of the State, who has a degree in agriculture from the Dharward Agriculture University, suggest something as unscientific and absurd as Vedic farming. Vijai Sardesai, after his wife Usha met a Swami Shivanand who is part of the UP Chief Minister Swami Aditiyanath Asharam, has become a fan of Vedic agriculture. Presumably with the same logic that India or Bharat had Pushpa Vimans or planes used by Ravana in the Ramayana, and had specialized in not just kidney transplants but head transplants, as in the case of Shri Ganesh, also knew the secret of improving agricultural growth. The formula of Vijai for making crops grow faster and in larger quantities is not to use Israeli-type sprinkler irrigation. It is not mechanisation by replacing human labour and bull labour by tractors, or using combine harvesters and saving the cost of paying migrant labour between `500 and `1000 per day for helping to harvest the paddy.
You don’t need all that to revive agriculture and maybe even grow plants on the roof of the Krishi Bhavan — or in pots in your balcony on the 10th floor of your sky scraper. All you have to do is to recite a mantra given by a holy man from Lucknow who promotes cosmic Vedic farming. Maybe Vijai Sardesai believes that his promotion of Vedic farming will make him RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s favourite. It is Bhagwat in Nagpur who finally decides who will be the chief minister of any BJP-ruled State and even who will be the president of India. You may recall the President K Govind touched the feet of the RSS Chief on his first visit outside Delhi to Nagpur after he was sworn in as president.
The problem of Parrikar and the BJP in Goa is that they have no second rung leadership. Just like Brazil and Portugal were entirely dependent on the magic of Messi and Ronaldo to win their matches in the Fifa World Cup, in Goa, the BJP depends entirely on Parrikar to win elections. Parrikar is even better then Messi and Ronaldo because he can even get Catholics elected on BJP tickets.
The RSS and the BJP will not even consider giving tickets to Catholics in other states. Of the 13 seats the BJP won in the 2017
election, the breakup was seven Catholics and six Hindus. Going by the logic that Catholics won more seats than Hindus for the BJP, a Catholic would be the obvious choice for chief minister if Parrikar is not able to continue for health reasons.
In fact in the last tenure of Parrikar as chief minister between 2012 and 2017, Francis D’Souza was the Deputy chief minister. When Parrikar was called by Modi to become defence minister, Francis D’souza came rushing from London where he had gone for a holiday and staked his claim to be chief minister. He had the support of more than 14 MLAs, but Parsekar got the kodel. More recently the fight between Micheal Lobo and Francis D Souza is about who can become the CM in case Parrikar is forced to step down. But they don’t realize that the RSS will not let a Catholic become the chief minister.
There is very little choice before Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the BJP about finding a successor, for superman Sidharth Kuncalienker, who was chamcha no 1, is no longer close to Parrikar. All the other senior BJP leaders like Rajendra Arlekar, were defeated in the last Assembly election. The BJP in Goa is like a football team with no players. Which is perhaps why Parrikar is suddenly talking about building young leaders. He spoke at length about creating young leaders during an interaction with editors of magazines and newspapers and TV channels (for which of course Rajan Narayan was not invited as he seen as enemy no 1 of the BJP). Is Parrikar hinting at somebody like Rohan Khaunte who is one of the few ministers who has delivered in the Parrikar cabinet? The minister who has revived the IT industry, who is fighting with multinationals and big Indian companies for jobs for Goans, who wants to revive agriculture, and even went to the extent of driving a pair of bullocks in the field in his Constituency. The other alternative could be Govind Gaude, though he is young, who is passionate about Goa, Goan culture and Goan identity. Surely somebody who can defeat the president of the MGP, Deepak Dhavalikar, could be groomed to be the chief minister of the state?
The war between Govind Gaude and Dhavalikar is part of the larger Kurukshetra war involving the Pandvas and the Kauravas. The Kauravas being the Dhavalikars and the Pandavas being the blue eyed boys of Manohar Parrikar.
It all depends on the match umpire, Bhagwat, sitting not in Delhi but in Nagpur. Bhagwat recently broke the alliance between Mehbooba Mufti and the BJP in Kashmir and declared President’s rule. Perhaps the same will happen in Goa also — there will be no chief minister and the state will be ruled by the governor Mridula Sinha, who recently embarrassed her position by making all the students attending the Goa University convocation take an oath that they will get married and will never divorce.