Goa Cong urges Laxmikant Parsekar to work against Dayanand Sopte in by-polls

The Goa Congress on Thursday urged BJP leader and former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar to work against saffron party’s candidate Dayanand Sopte for Mandrem by-polls, in a bid to retain his self respect.

Addressing media persons, Congress spokesperson Adv Ramakant Khalap confirmed that party president Girish Chodankar met Parsekar in Mandrem and discussed about political development in the constituency.

“They both met, but I have no idea what they discussed. But we urge Parsekar that for his self-respect, he should work for the defeat of official candidate of BJP Dayanand Sopte,” Khalap said.

Sopte, a former Congress MLA, joined BJP last month. He had defeated Parsekar in the 2017 assembly election. Sopte’s entry into BJP had not gone down well with Parsekar, who has accused State leadership of failing to take him into confidence and publicly vowed to defeat Sopte.

Further, Khalap said that Sopte has lost his credibility and support of his workers. “In Mandrem, Congress is strong and all the grassroots workers are united,” he stated.

Source: Herald

Goan Activists To Launch Indefinite Fast Unto Death Seeking Ailing CM Manohar Parrikar’s Resignation

Several Goan activists – including a national RTI awardee Rajan S Ghate and women activists have come together and will launch an indefinite fast unto death at the Azad Maidan at Panaji.

Speaking at a press conference in Panaji today, to announce the same, at least 10 activists pledged their support for the movement. The agitation is spear headed by the Goa Citizen’s Action Forum and the NGO Nari Adhikar and headed by Ghate.

A local citizens group, Goa Citizen’s Action Forum (GCAF), national RTI awardee Rajan S Ghate and NGO Nari Adhikar along with others on Friday said that they would undertake an indefinite fast unto death to protest against the failure of the Goa government to find solutions and take action against issues like rising unemployment, rise in prevalence of gambling due to spread of Casino culture, failure of the Goa government including the Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to allocate important portfolios like Home, Finance, Industries, etc., to capable and responsible Ministers and others.

Speaking at the press conference held at Panaji, national RTI awardee Rajan Ghate who will inaugurate the fast unto death and social activist Anil N Laad said: “I am giving the BJP-led Goa government a notice of 7 days’ time to announce a solution to the issues like rising unemployment, loss of jobs, spread of gambling and Casino culture and the failure of the Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to allocate important portfolios like Home, Finance, Industries, etc., to capable and responsible Ministers, so that the work of these ministries is not hampered and is carried out under the responsible, day-to-day supervision of the Minister holding the portfolio.”

In a related development, the NGO Nari Adhikar along with the Goa Citizen’s Action Forum (GCAF) is carrying out a socio-medico-academic survey in certain poorer sections of Goa to understand the unemployment problem in detail and to study the impact of certain socio-geographical indicators over the overall health of the people of Goa.

Adv Diya Shetkar of the NGO Nari Adhikar said that the survey has already begun in the Ponda-Shiroda belt and we will cover the entire State in batches over a period of 3-4 months. Nari Adhikar and GCF strongly condemn the lackadaisical attitude and failure of the Goa government to address the unemployment problem in the state, which is causing frustration among youth and forcing them into gambling, drugs and other vices.

“According to information from the Govt of Goa Statistics Dept and the Personnel Dept, the new jobs creation (in the government sector) for the year 2018 stood at ZERO. This means the Goa govt has not been able to create new jobs for the youth of Goa. It has come to my knowledge that BJP leaders in Goa are selling government jobs to the highest bidder in their constituencies. Instead of giving out job contracts to Goans, former GTDC chairman and BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral has given out contracts for services like tea/coffee vending, maintenance and serving to contractors from Delhi who bring their own labour from outside Goa. These contracts are arbitrarily awarded for periods and durations of 10-15 years, without any bidding, which is completely illegal,” said Adv Diya Shetkar of Nari Adhikar.

According to activist Kenneth Silveira: the coalition partner of the BJP government, the Goa Forward Party had made Casinos a big poll issue and senior office bearers of the GFP had even filed court cases against the casinos. But after coming to power, the senior leaders of GFP have now withdrawn the court cases against the casinos and the reason is obvious.”

I have heard that one casino owner has funded the US treatment costs of the Goa CM to the tune of Rs 2 crore. The money was transferred from a US bank account of the Casino magnate directly to the cancer hospital where the CM was undergoing treatment.

The government has not been able to solve the fish traders/fish importers formalin issue. The Health Minister says  one thing and the traders say a different thing all-together. At the end of the day, it’s the common man who is inconvenienced and has to pay more as the fish mafia is creating an artificial scarcity of fish.

The local transport system has completely collapsed in Goa. Every day 8-10 buses of the Kadamba Transport break down on the road causing great inconvenience to the public. There is no proper maintenance of the buses. Due to traffic congestion, the buses arrive very late and the public are made to stand in queues at the Margao and Panaji main bus stands as back-up drivers are not available during peak hours.

BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar demands Goa state president Vinay Tendulkar’s resignation

Former Goa chief minister and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday demanded the resignation of state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar “in the interest of the party” and called him inefficient and indecisive.

Speaking to the media, Parsekar said that Vinay Tendulkar “is inefficient and cannot take decisions on his own and therefore he should resign”. He added that the party high command should act on the matter.

“Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar is inefficient and cannot take decisions on his own and therefore he should resign. The party high command should act on this,” said Parsekar.

“I am not saying this because of any personal grievance. But in the interests of the party, Vinay Tendulkar has to resign. He is acting like a puppet and has no decision-making power. The entire party set up under him has to change,” Parsekar told the media before attending a party meeting at the residence of former Deputy Chief Minister Francis D`Souza late on Thursday.

D`Souza, the minority face of the Goa BJP for almost two decades, has also been slamming the state party leadership, including Parrikar, ever since he was dropped as cabinet minister in October, on account of his ill-health, according to Tendulkar.

While Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar`s prolonged illness has already landed the BJP in Goa in a protracted crisis, the decision by the saffron party to induct Congress MLAs into the party fold has triggered further controversy and fissures in the party.

Source: Zee News

BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar’s goons allegedly threaten to Gang-Rape and Kill female Congress Worker Diya Shetkar

Adv Diya Shetkar

A practicing advocate and Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress State Secretary Diya Shetkar was threatened, allegedly by thugs and goons belonging to BJP leader Subhash Shirodkar’s gang that she would be gang-raped if she entered the BJP leader’s constituency again.

According to a police complaint filed by Adv Diya Shetkar at the Panjim police station today, she has been receiving similar threatening calls over the last few days, but ignored them.

Today morning (4th November, 2018), at around 10.40-10-45 am, she got a telephone call from an unknown number. The unknown caller threatened to kill her if she criticized Subhash Shirodkar.

Incidentally, Shetkar was among a few Congress workers who had burnt an effigy of Subhash Shirodakar last month, when he defected to the BJP.

Shirodkar who was a former Congress MLA, jumped ship and switched over to the BJP last month. He has now been made the Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

The caller used very abusive and vulgar language and told Shetkar to stop speaking against Shirodkar. They also threatened her that she could get gang-raped if she came to Shiroda again and warned her not to visit Subhash Shirodkar’s constituency again.

The police at Panjim registered an NC (NC No. 448/2018 u/s 507 IPC). IndiaScoops.com asked Adv Diya Shetkar as to why she did not insist on registering an FIR when threats to life and threat to rape were issued.


Speaking to IndiaScoops.com on phone, Shetkar said: “I was scheduled to go out of town today due to some family commitments. I have to visit my ailing relative in Mumbai. Hence I could not spend more time at the police station today. Registering an FIR requires much more time as detailed statement is recorded and normally the police conduct a PE. I will approach the police again when I am back from Mumbai and register an FIR in this case.”

Adv Shetkar is filing a separate police complaint with the Woman’s Police Station at Panjim tomorrow or day after and will meet the Goa DGP Dr Muktesh Chander with a written complaint shortly.

Speaking to media persons at a press conference at Panjim on Sunday, Adv Shetkar alleged that Shirodkar is trying to threaten Congress workers in Shiroda. “He is indulging in criminal activity to try and win the by-polls, by threatening Congress workers and forcing them to join the BJP,” she told IndiaScoops.com.

Administration in Goa has totally collapsed: Michael Lobo

Stating that there is political unrest among the MLAs and that the administration in the state has collapsed, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Friday said that midterm poll seems imminent in Goa, reports the Navhind Times.

Also Read: CM cannot walk or speak properly, for last six months he is in hospital, he must hand over his job to someone else: Michael Lobo

“People have a lot of expectations, as promises have not been fulfilled and they are unhappy with the way things are progressing. The political situation in Goa is fluid and midterm poll seems imminent. It could be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election in 2019,” Lobo said.

Also Read: Michael Lobo blasts Sopte and Shirodkar for ditching party, hints that some Goa BJP MLAs could join Congress

The BJP MLA was speaking to media after the inauguration of the laying of underground high tension cables from Candolim church to Saipem, which was the only stretch left of the 11KVA cables, which are being placed underground in Candolim. The work has been taken up by the electricity department at an estimated cost of Rs 1.7 crore and is likely to be completed in a month.

Also Read: Michael Lobo is the only fearless BJP leader in Goa who has the courage and gumption to speak the truth: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

Speaking on the political scenario in Goa, Lobo said that the state has already witnessed two opposition MLAs resigning from the Congress party and there are rumours about two more MLAs from that party who are likely to resign. “MLAs have taken the people of Goa for granted. This should not happen. When elected, that MLA becomes the representative of that constituency and when the MLA resigns, people lose faith in the MLA. The opposition has to be strong and should raise the people’s issues, which is not happening in Goa. The opposition is weak and I don’t know the reason why the real issues of Goa are not being taken up,” he said.

Also Read: Goa Govt paid 12-15 times the actual rate for Shiroda orchard land to a non-existent company to ‘buy’ Subhash Shirodkar

Lobo said that senior BJP leader and Mapusa MLA Francis Dsouza is hurt after being dropped from the cabinet. “He is close to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar; both these top leaders were the ones who brought BJP to power in Goa,” he said. When questioned whether Francis will be re-inducted into the cabinet, Lobo shot back saying that there are only 12 ministers. “This can happen if the number of ministers is increased, which is not going to happen.”

Also Read: Govt Jobs in Goa Are Sold For Lakhs’: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

On leadership change, Lobo was of the opinion that there is a need to hand over the responsibility to someone to run the affairs of the state.

“It is not that the Chief Minister is not doing work. The Chief Minister is being guided by his personal secretary and officer on special duty and they brief him on the day-to-day affairs. However, the decisions are taken at his residence. There is a need to have someone at the Secretariat to take quick decisions which is not happening, as the Chief Minister is sick. Regarding the Chief Minister stepping down or handing over the charge to someone, the decision has to be taken by Parrikar himself,” the Calangute MLA said.

Source: Navhind Times

Enough material evidence in hand to nail Prime Minister on Rafale deal, claims Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday made a fresh allegation that Dassault Aviation had paid “kickbacks” to the Anil Ambani group to secure the Rafale deal. He also claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was spending “sleepless nights” as he would not “survive” if the Rafale deal was probed.

Mr. Gandhi’s claims were made on the basis on Dassault Aviation’s annual report of 2017 as well as the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure’s annual report, where Dassault Aviation is shown to have made an investment of ₹284 crore in Reliance Airport Developers Limited (RADL).

Mr. Ambani’s company termed the latest allegation “a blatant lie.” In a statement, the company said: “Dassault’s investment in Reliance Airport Developers Limited has no link whatsoever with the Rafale contract between the Government of India and France.”

“The Congress party has falsely alleged that the funds invested in RADL have been used for the purchase of land at Mihan, Nagpur for the Dassault-Reliance joint venture,” Reliance Groups said in a statement.

Mr. Gandhi, however, had earlier described the Dassault investment in RADL as kickback for the Rafale deal. “If an inquiry starts on this [Rafale deal], Mr. Modi is not going to survive it, guaranteed,” Mr. Gandhi said at a press conference at the party headquarters.

“One, because of corruption and two because it is very clear who the decision maker was. Nobody will be able to say that it was a general in the Air Force or the Defence Minister or some bureaucrat in the Defence Ministry. It is clear who the man was, and it was Narendra Modi and the deal done to give Anil Ambani ₹30,000 crore,” he added.

The Congress chief also targeted the Dassault Aviation boss for lying.

“Dassault CEO (Eric Trappier) had claimed his company chose Reliance as its offset partner because it had land available next to an airport. But now it has been revealed that the land was bought by the money that was invested by Dassault. The CEO is lying,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“The big question is why a firm would invest ₹284 crore in a company with a capital of just over ₹8 lakh and is loss making? It is clear cut that this (investment) is the first instalment of kickback given by Dassault.”

‘CBI probe scuttled’
He said if Mr Modi had nothing to hide, then he would have been open to an inquiry and alleged that CBI Director Alok Verma was removed to avoid an inquiry.

“If the Prime Minister was not involved, he would have said ‘let there be an inquiry by the CBI or the Supreme Court’. But he is silent. He has lost his sleep because of tension because he knows he will be caught,” he said.

Source: The Hindu

Goa coalition allies GFP and MGP fuming, loosing their patience over distribution of additional portfolios

Panaji: As Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar began holding meetings with ministers, officials and party leaders despite his ill health, the issue of a change in leadership of the coalition government seems to have been ‘put on hold’ reports the Navhind Times, at least for the time being, with the two main allies – the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) accepting that for now Parrikar will continue to remain the CM.

However, the delay in the distribution of the additional portfolios seems to be driving the alliance partners towards frustration, annoyance and 1-2 leaders seem to be loosing their patience with Parrikar, though they are reluctant to take on the ailing CM headlong.

After the opposition Congress party launched an attack on the government by raising certain doubts, the much-needed movement was seen at Parrikar’s private residence at Taleigao since last Tuesday, reports Navhind Times.

The Chief Minister chaired the meeting of Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board on October 30, which was followed by the cabinet meeting on October 31.

On Thursday, Parrikar held a discussion on political situation with five members of BJP’s core committee at his residence.

According to sources, though Parrikar cannot move or walk from one place to another or one room to other in his house, as he has become physically weak due to prolonged illness, he can interact and talk to people. He has to be carried from one room to the other or use a wheelchair.

It is learnt that the ministers, especially, those from the allies have decided not to pursue the issue of leadership change as Parrikar has got into action, though in a restricted way at his residence.

Even though the Chief Minister had assured that he would distribute the additional portfolios to the ministers by Dussehra or soon after that, the same has not yet been fulfilled, and this seems to have created uneasiness among the alliance partners.

According to sources, the Chief Minister did not utter a word on the distribution of additional portfolios during the cabinet meeting.

One leader who was part of the Cabinet Meet at the CM’s residence told IndiaScoops.com that the CM seems to have completely forgotten his promise to distribute additional portfolios to other ministers or induct more ministers to enable proper functioning of the government.

Speaking to The Navhind Times a couple of ministers, on the condition of anonymity, expressed annoyance as there has been no move to fulfill the assurance of the distribution of additional portfolios, however, added that it is the prerogative of the Chief Minister, and now they would not pursue the same at this stage, least the CM’s health takes a beating.

While speaking to the media soon after the cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said that the issue of the distribution of additional portfolios was not discussed during the meeting.

It may be recalled that soon after Ganesh Chaturthi when Parrikar was flown to Delhi for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences the assurance to distribute the additional portfolios was made.

Later, the Chief Minister reassured the ministers, who met him at the AIIMS on October 12, that the additional portfolios would be distributed by Dusherra or soon after that. However, there has been no movement on the allocation of the portfolios to the ministers even after the Chief Minister came down to Goa on October 14 from the AIIMS.

It is pertinent to note that the outburst of MGP president Pandurang ‘Dipak’ Dhavalikar against the BJP for not letting a senior minister from the cabinet to hold the charge when Parrikar is recuperating is also an indication that patience is running out for this ally of the ruling party.

Even as the talks were doing rounds in the political circles during first fortnight of October over the additional portfolios, now neither the Chief Minister nor the BJP leaders are commenting on the same.

Source: Navhind Times

Goa Beaches Open For Swimming on Nov 1, 24 ‘No-Selfie’ Zones Identified

PANAJI: Weeks after the seas off Goa’s beaches were rendered “unsafe”, the popular haunts will formally open for swimming from November 1, with 24 ‘no-selfie’ zones, a state agency said on Wednesday, as reported by IANS.

With Monsoon waning and post-monsoon showers receding, state appointed Drishti Lifesaving lifeguard agency, has started the process of setting up safe swim-zones along the state’s coastline, a statement issued said.

Cyclonic winds had triggered underwater and rip currents in the seas that had led to the deferring.

“Starting November 1, all beaches will be open for swimming and beach activity,” Drishti said.

The agency maps the weather and sea conditions each morning and accordingly sets up safe swim-zones along the beaches which are manned by its 600-strong lifeguard force.

Although most beaches in Goa are safe, Drishti advises all to adhere to some basic safety measures — ideally swim only in the swim-zones marked with red and yellow flags. Non swim-zones are marked with red flags.

There are signage at the entrance of each beach enlisting safety tips, the statement said, adding that 24 ‘no-selfie’ zones had been identified to prevent accidents.

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly eight million tourists, of which half a million are foreigners.

Source: IANS

Supreme Court refuses to hear fresh petition on Rafale deal

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a fresh petition filed in connection with the Rafale deal.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, “We are already hearing many petitions in the issue”, adding: “What is the need to hear a fresh petition?”

Earlier on Saturday, the central government submitted the details of the decision-making process pertaining to the deal to the top court’s Secretary-General in a sealed cover.

The apex court, while hearing a petition, had sought the said information from the Centre without divulging technical details and prices of the Rafale fighter jets.

The opposition Congress party has been alleging irregularities in the high-profile Defence fighter jets contract signed between India and France in 2016 under National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

In 2012, during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure, India planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, with 108 others to be assembled in the country by the state-run aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

However, in 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government scrapped the UPA’s plan and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

The Congress alleged that the NDA government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalized by the UPA government.

Source: The New Indian Express

Sidharth Kuncalienkar allegedly thrown out of Parrikar’s house, stripped of his EDC post for alleged extortion, claim unconfirmed BJP party sources

Sources within the BJP Party in Goa have allegedly claimed that former Panjim MLA Sidharth Kuncalienkar was last week shown the door by Manohar Parrikar and his family members in a fit of anger and asked to get out of his residence after a heated argument over an alleged extortion complaint by a Goan businessman.

This information was shared by a couple of sources, but IndiaScoops.com has not been able to independently verify or confirm it as nobody was willing to officially speak on the subject and hence IndiaScoops.com does not endorse the story.

According to unconfirmed sources, what transpired is as follows: the CM of Goa Manohar Parriakr who is suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer received a call from a very prominent business family of Goa alleging that Sidharth Kuncalienkar had demanded a huge sum of money from them for a favor or clearance of some proposals or files. There are varying accounts on this, but the same thread follows – that Kuncalienkar allegedly demanded money for some quid pro from the business house.

On getting this information, Parrikar immediately summoned Kuncalienkar to his private residence at Urban Retreat in North Goa and a heated argument ensured between the two, with Parrikar blasting Kuncalienkar for demanding money to clear files or do ‘favors’ in the CM’s name.

Following this heated argument with his trusted aide, sources say Parrikar’s health further suffered.

Parrikar’s family members then asked Kuncalienkar to leave the place immediately.

BJP Party leaders also allegedly claimed that it was decided not to give Kuncalienkar a BJP ticket for the Panaji by-polls at a meeting held shortly after this incident.

Meanwhile, according to a UNI report, former Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienkar resigned as Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation Ltd (EDC) on Monday.

In his resignation letter, he said,’I wish to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation from the post of EDC Chairman with immediate effect. When asked why resigned from the post, Kuncalienkar said he was asked by the state unit of the party to do so.

‘I have been told by the party to tender my resignation. So I am doing it,’ he told reporters.

‘Whenever party will require I think a work has responsibility that he has to be ready for the party. When party instructed me to resign, immediately I resigned from the post of chairman of EDC,’ he said.

However, party state unit president Vinay Tendulkar said that party had not asked Kuncalienkar to resign.

“Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the former MLA to step down from the post,” Tendulkar said, thus possibly endorsing the above claim of a fallout between Parrikar and Kuncalienkar.

It is second time that Kuncalienkar has resigned from his post. In May 2017, he had resigned as an MLA of Panaji to pave the way for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to contest the by-election.

It is being speculated that the post may be given to former Congress MLA Subhash Shirodkar who had quit the Congress party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa.

There is also speculation that the post of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) Chairman which is held by Power Minister Nilesh Cabral may be given to Dayanand Sopte.

However, speaking to reporters in the city on Monday, Cabral said he did not have any attachment to the posts, but he had not been asked by the party to resign from his post.

Editor’s Note: IndiaScoops.com has not been able to independently verify or confirm this story, which was sent to us by a freelance reporter. The editorial team of IndiaScoops.com hence does not endorse this post.