PANAJI: Ailing Goa BJP legislator Francis D’Souza, who was recently dropped from the Manohar Parrikar-led Goa cabinet, said today that he would resign from the state party’s core committee once he returns from the US.
When asked, Mr D’Souza, who is admitted to a hospital in the US, said this is his fight for “self-respect”.
Mr Parrikar, who is admitted in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi because of a pancreatic ailment, had on Monday dropped BJP ministers Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar from his cabinet.
BJP MLAs Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral were inducted in their place.
Mr D’Souza, who headed the Urban Development Department, was unhappy over his removal from the Goa cabinet, and had asked if this was the reward given to him by the party for his 20-year-long loyalty.
“I will resign from the Goa BJP unit’s core committee once I am back on October 15. I don’t want anything from the party in future. Even if offered, I will not take up any government position,” Mr D’Souza told news agency PTI over the phone.
The core committee is the BJP’s key decision-making body in Goa, comprising senior leaders like Manohar Parrikar, Union minister Shripad Naik and party state chief Vinay Tendulkar, among others.
“I am fighting for my self-respect. If you can’t respect me, then I don’t want anything from you. It’s all over,” said Mr D’Souza, who got elected on the BJP ticket from Mapusa constituency in North Goa district for the past two decades.
Asserting that he would not quit as an MLA, he said, “I have been elected by my voters for five years, so there is no question of resigning as a legislator. If I resign, I would be disrespecting my voters.”
He went on to say that it was ultimately the chief minister’s right to keep or drop him from the cabinet. “Nobody can interfere in the chief minister’s right. There is no role of the party high command in my dismissal from the cabinet,” he said.
However, criticising Mr Parrikar’s style of functioning, he said the chief minister does not take advice from anyone, including the party high command.
Mr D’Souza also alleged that “few leaders” in the BJP were trying to get him removed from the party since 2012. “May be they felt that I overstayed in their party. Usually, any guest should not overstay. I have been there for too long in the BJP,” he said.
Claiming that he had joined the BJP on Manohar Parrikar’s request, Mr D’Souza said he would not advise his son, who is aiming for a political career in Mapusa, to join the party.