Goa BJP MLAs hope Parrikar becomes prime minister
Goa's BJP legislators on Monday expressed hope that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would become India's prime minister soon, while Opposition members accused him of spending too much time in Goa, despite holding a sensitive ministry.
The legislators were speaking during a discussion on a special motion passed in the state legislative assembly to congratulate Parrikar on his elevation as defence minister in November last year. Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Goa, called Parrikar one of the greatest politicians to emerge from Goa and said that "people are looking forward to see him as prime minister".
Michael Lobo, BJP's legislator from the Calangute constituency, called Parrikar a visionary leader who "maybe one fine day will become the prime minister of the country". The IIT-ian was elevated to the union cabinet in November last year during a cabinet expansion, the highest position ever held by a Goan politician.
While BJP members in the state assembly praised Parrikar, some among the opposition members took potshots at him for leaving behind a legacy of u-turns on key promises and spending unreasonably long spells in Goa, despite being the country's defence minister.. "Parrikar (as chief minister) had promised action against scams, and casinos.
Where did all those promises go?" said Vijai Sardesai, Independent from Fatorda constituency. He also accused the defence minister of spending inordinately long spells of time in Goa, especially during weekends, claiming Parrikar was slighting his union ministry chores. "What is happening is weekend governance.
He is creating two power centres in Goa," Sardesai said, adding that the BJP had consistently accused the Congress in Delhi of creating two power centres, namely party president Sonia Gandhi and then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Independent lawmaker from Bicholim Naresh Sawal compared Parrikar's repeated visits to Goa and even canvassing for zilla panchayat elections to cricketers playing in the World Cup being roped in to play local tennis ball cricket tournaments.