BETRAYAL: Contrary to the BJP promise in its manifesto of three free gas cylinders, LPG prices have been hiked by the Centre in Delhi.


AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when along with the Congress defectors, the BJP also inherited the Congress culture. For a Saturday following the week when it was revealed that the swearing in ceremony of the new cabinet will be on March 28. For a Saturday following the week when tourists have started pouring into Goa even during the week days. For a Saturday following the week when the BJP con of offering three free cylinders per household was exposed. For a Saturday following the week when the film `The Kashmiri Files’ has created even more tension between the Hindu majority community and the Muslims.
AND a few stray thoughts on along with the Congress defectors, the BJP also inherited the Congress culture. The Congress culture is one of stabbing each other in the back. Or to use the popular expression “Smile on face, hand holding knife behind” (“Muh mein muskaan, bagal mein churi!”) . The BJP has also made a mistake in postponing the selection of its chief minister by ten days and further postponing the swearing in by another eight days. This means a total delay of 18 days from the day of counting to the formation of the new government.
Obviously there has been stiff rivalry not only over the choice of the chief minister but also about who will get which kodel in the cabinet. History has shown that it is always a mistake to invite to many heavyweight defectors. Already the squabbling over the allocation of cabinet berths has started. A large section of the BJP MLAs and defectors want to keep Sudin Dhavalikar out.
Indeed, a meeting was held by Babush Monserrate which was attended both by BJP loyal MLAs and those who defected to the BJP from the Congress. The opposition to MGP and Dhavalikar is because if the MGP is kept out, more loyal BJP MLAs will get Cabinet seats. Thanks to the BJP taking the support of the two MGP MLAs and the three independent MLA, seven of the ten Cabinet berths will have to be given to the alliance partners.
Both the MGP MLAs and the three independents who have extended support to Pramod Sawant will demand a Cabinet berth. In the case of Babush Monserrate and Vishwajit Rane, they will also demand Cabinet berths for their dharampatni. So there will be only three berths for the loyal BJP MLAs.
The opposition to Dhavalikar in the BJP is also because of the competition for heavyweight departments. Dhavalikar will not be satisfied with anything less than the PWD ministry or the finance ministry. Between Vishwajit and Mauvin Godinho and not to mention Babush, they would also want the ministries which offer the highest scope for corruption.
As it is cracks have started appearing in the wall of unity claimed by BJP President Sadanand Tanavade. If the BJP waits till March 28 for the grand swearing with VVIP invitees from the Centre and states and allotment of portfolios, it will only give the rebels more time to split the BJP as the Congress has done in the past.
AND a few stray thoughts when it was revealed that the swearing in ceremony of the new Cabinet will be on March 28, 2022. The delay ostensible is to accommodate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, who want to be present at the swearing in ceremony. Not only the PM and HM, the BJP has revealed that chief ministers of all BJP states will be invited for the swearing in ceremony. May be this is why the governor has expanded the Darbar Hall at the Raj Bhavan to accommodate 2,000 invitees.
Earlier, the Darbar Hall could accommodate only around 300 people. Every swearing in ceremony in every one of the four states which BJP has won is being converted into a show of strength. And perhaps Narendra Modi is particularly keen on attending the swearing in of Pramod Sawant because Goa has always brought him good-luck. It was in Goa that the All India BJP Executive Committee created the path for Narendra Modi to become prime minister. At the meeting of the executive held in 2013 when Manohar Parrikar was still the chief minister of Goa, Modi was made the chief spokesperson of the BJP. This was the first step in making him the prime minister’s face for the 2014 parliamentary elections.
The late Manohar Parrikar was the strongest supporter of Narendra Modi. Modi would have been thrown out of politics long before he came chief minister but for the support of Manohar Parrikar. Way back in 2002 when Manohar Parrikar was a chief minister and hosted the meeting of the national executive, the then prime minister wanted Modi sacked as chief minister of Gujarat. This was soon after the post-Godhra attacks on the Muslim minority community in Gujarat. Vajpayee insisted at the executive committee meeting in 2002 that Modi had not lived up raj dharma. Which requires that the rulers must treat all sections of people equally and not target minorities. It was Manohar Parrikar who persuaded Vajpayee to give Modi another chance.
In fact, by the time the BJP have changed its mind over sacking Modi, he had already left Goa to resign as chief minister of Gujarat. Goa marked the new Modi era in the BJP where all the veterans like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj were sidelined.

AND a few stray thoughts on my tryst with the Atal Setu bridge. After a long gap I crossed the Atal Setu bridge for a medical appointment in Mapusa. I was tempted to imitate the late Manohar Parrikar. It may be recalled that Manohar Parrikar was critically ill with pancreatic cancer but he insisted on inaugurating the Atal Setu bridge. With Parrikar being obstinate he has taken cardiac care ambulance to his dream project, the Atal Setu. Named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the first BJP prime minister of the country. Parrikar, who had returned to Goa after quitting his job as defense minister in Delhi, was terminally ill. His residence in Dona Paula was converted into an ICU for his benefit. The only outsiders permitted into the building were his sons and the then Advocate-General Atmaram Nadkarni.
Parrikar, who had become a hero nationwide and not just in Goa, because of the surgical strike against Pakistan, would not accept that he was terminally ill. He wanted to prove that even in his extremely delicate state of health he could go to the Atal Setu bridge. At the Atal Setu bridge, Parrikar was on oxygen with a tube passing through his nose, came out of the ambulance. He stood holding the railings of the Atal Setu bridge. And told the media present who asked him about his health that he had both hosh and josh.
On the Mapusa trip I was tempted to emulate the example of Manohar Parrikar, though not as critically ill as Parrikar. I also have very serious health problems. When I came to Goa in 1983, there was only a single bridge over the Mandovi river. Even that single bridge literally collapsed within four years of my coming to Goa. To ensure that links with North Goa would not be cut off, the then chief minister decided to build two bridges over the Mandovi river. So that if one collapsed, the other bridge offered an alternative.
But IIT-ian Parrikar felt that there should be a third bridge over the Mandovi with arms extending to Ribandar for those who want to go to Ponda, and the other arm permitting commuters to go directly to the national highway to Margao, bypassing Panjim City.

AND a few stray thoughts on the BJP con of offering three free cylinders per household being exposed. As part of its manifesto, the BJP had promised three free LPG cooking gas cylinders to every household in Goa. Mind you, the small print in the manifesto made it clear that the offer was limited to three free cylinders during a year — and not one cylinder every month.
Now when the time has come to deliver on its manifesto promises, the BJP has double-crossed the people. Instead of giving three free cylinders, it has increased the price of domestic LPG by Rs50. Simultaneously, the price of petrol and diesel have also been increased by 80 paise. (On Wednesday, March 16, a friend of ours reported paying petrol price at Rs98 per liter.)
The BJP probably did not anticipate that Russia will invade Ukraine which is one of the largest sources of fossil fuels and natural gas. The consequence is that worldwide the cost of petrol, diesel and cooking gas has shot up. In Mumbai, petrol prices have crossed the century mark with the price on Wednesday being Rs110.82.
In Goa, it is hurdling towards a century at the present price at Rs97. The BJP manifesto promised to decrease the burden of the common man. What the BJP government has done AFTER being coming back to power is nothing less than betrayal. But then nobody is expected to take promises made in manifestos seriously.
Thank God the Aam Aadmi and Trinamool parties did not get a majority as they had promised between Rs3,000 to Rs5,000 as unemployment allowance to Goans. All of which would come from taxes levied on loans or from people with jobs. What the BJP government both at the State and Centre does not realize is that Goa does not have a first class reliable mass public transport system.
Goa is the only state in the country where both the public sector Kadamba buses and the private buses permitted by the late Shashikala Kakodkar stop operating latest by 8pm. Along the beach belt where public transport is desperately needed, public buses stop as early as 6 pm. No Goan can get to work on time if he depends entirely on the public transport system. Which is why Goa has more two-wheelers than its entire population.
At last count, the number of two-wheelers was hurtling towards 8,46,705 two-wheelers. The tragedy is that with the government determined to ban petrol and diesel vehicles, all owners of two-wheelers will have to bear the additional burden of switching over to electric vehicles. This will crush most Goans using two-wheelers to move around though we understand that the running cost of electric vehicles is much lower than that of petrol and diesel vehicles in the long run. However, the catch is that the charging stations that are needed to charge electric vehicles, may be shut most of the time because of power failure.
We do not know about the other promises which the BJP will go back on. Babush Monserrate, recognizing that public transport is a major problem, distributed bicycles to all Nepali workers in his constituency. Ideally, the Konkan railway should have been connected to all the major cities like Panaji, Madgaon, Vasco, Ponda and Mapusa. The Konkan railway in fact had proposed a sky bus and had even made a prototype and presented it to the government. There have been suggestions that Goa should have a metro for the benefit of the common man like in Delhi.
Unfortunately for Goans politicians in Goa are only interested in extending patronage to the mafia tourist taxi service. Even now despite orders from the High Court the majority of tourist taxis are flouting the order to install digital meters in their cabs.

THE KASHMIR FILES’ AND a last stray thought on the filmThe Kashmir Files’ produced to create even more tension between Hindus and Muslims. The film should have been banned instead of being exempted from tax in Goa. The Home Ministry at the Centre headed by Amit Shah should have arrested filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri for consciously and deliberately fomenting violence against Muslims. The film is a total distortion of facts.
Admittedly, when several thousand Kashmiri Pandits were forced to run away from Kashmir in early 1990, though Jammu is supposed to be a Hindu majority region in contrast to Kashmir which has a Muslim majority, even the Kashmiri Pandits of Jammu were not spared. The film is an attempt to whitewash the role played by the BJP in the harassment of the Kashmiri Pandits. Jagmohan was the governor when there were large scale attacks on Kashmiri Pandits.
In any case it is very doubtful if any of the Kashmiri Pandits who fled to other parts of India want to go back to Kashmir. The ground reality is that Kashmiri Pandits have done very well for themselves. It is not widely known that the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a Kashmiri Pandit whose family migrated to Allahabad. A large number of the bureaucrats who occupied top positions during the Nehru and Indira Gandhi regimes were from Kashmir.
Indira Gandhi’s principal secretary was PN Haksar, a Kashmiri Pandit. He quit after differences with Indira Gandhi over indulgence to Sanjay Gandhi and the declaration of emergency. In any case the incidents referred to in the film are distorted versions of what actually happened. The film is part of the BJP agenda to take away India’s secular credentials in favor of being a Hindu nation officially.


  1. Congress should withdraw atleast once to make way for AAP to defeat BJP in Goa. Once BJP is gone, Goans can get their choice Government. 70% Goans did not voted BJP in 2022 Assembly Elections and still BJP formed Government in Goa.

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