By Prarthana Mitra
Goa administration, which stands on shaky grounds ever since Chief minister Manohar Parrikar stepped down due to failing health, witnessed new issues within its BJP unit this week, when its president Vinay Tendulkar accused his colleague Laxmikant Parsekar of vilifying BJP president Amit Shah and Parrikar.
Tension within the party peaked after two Congress MLAs were allowed to join BJP last week. One of them, Dayanand Sopte, had defeated former Goa chief minister Parsekar in the 2017 assembly election and is currently asking Parsekar to persuade his followers to vote for Sopte. Parsekar, livid, accuses the state core committe of keeping him in the dark regarding this decision.
Here’s what happened
Parsekar recently lashed out against the induction of a Congress MLA into BJP, irking Tendulkar, the target of the outburst. Tendulkar who is supposedly in the running for the chief minister’s seat lamented on being on the receiving end of Parsekar’s anger and abuse over a telephonic conversation, allegations that Parsekar vehemently denied.
“Can one who utters such abuses about our national president be made the chief minister? He abused Manohar-bhai Parrikar, state president (referring to himself) and national president (referring to Amit Shah). He asked me to record (the abuse) and to make them listen to it,” Tendulkar told the press. But Parsekar later clarified that the abuses were aimed at Tendulkar alone, not Shah.
Parsekar claims he was kept in the dark
“I have not abused Amit Shah or his mother. This is totally false and he is setting up false grounds. The truth is all that I said was exclusively against Tendulkar. He has proved to be inefficient and incompetent state president and he takes decisions which are nothing but diktats given to him by certain select persons behind the curtains,” he told the Indian Express.
“There is no question of me apologising to him. Instead, he has to apologise for backstabbing me, and breaking my trust, even though I am a senior BJP leader. Today, the party in Goa is in a difficult stage as Tendulkar is nothing but a puppet and he has shown no leadership or owned responsibility for his actions.”
On the question of supporting and endorsing Sopte, he said, “There is no question of any support. This would have been a different situation if all of us were taken into confidence and we were consulted. How do you expect any help if decisions are taken like this and colleagues backstab you? The anger is against the manner in which no one was consulted and Tendulkar being a state president didn’t even convey to us.”
In the same interview, Parsekar said he received “tremendous support from several karyakartas” and even threatened to take his qualms to Delhi. He was confident that BJP cadres would turn up the pressure on Tendulkar and Sopte. “He will be forced to quit himself because the anger is spread across the karyakarta for the manner the decisions have shaped in the last few days,” Parsekar mused. Besides Parsekar, two other members of BJP’s state core committee and cadres from a few constituencies are also against this induction.
This betrays frayed relations within the ranks of BJP which had assembled a hurried alliance with local powers to assume majority over Congress in the last elections, and with Parikkar’s health failing consistently, the state needs alternate leadership. Several ministers from BJP and allied parties have already pitched their candidacy before Amit Shah, according to people close to the matter.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius