I do not want to name anyone, but there is a big hindrance in the party. There is a big “Dhond” (waste/ dirt? He has to concentrate on organisation, but his 50 per cent concentration is on keeping Laxmikant Parsekar away. Secondly, 49 per cent is on Bicholim, and the remaining 1 p.c is on Goa. He has done nothing for the party. I feel sad about where the party is heading. Central leaders will come to know about this after the 2022 elections. The party has to rectify such issues immediately.
Former Chief Minister, Goa
As soon as the first list of 34 candidates was declared by the BJP, there was a rebellion in the BJP as many have announced to go independent. The BJP denied tickets to many, including Utpal Parrikar and former CM Laxmikant Parsekar. Goemkarponn Editor SURAJ NANDREKAR speaks to teh former CM LAXMIKANT PARSEKAR, who has served the party for ages to know his future plans…
Goemkarponn: Did you ever think you would land in such a situation. The party you nurtured since its early days will betray you this way?
Laxmikant Parsekar: Yes, somewhat, this is not an unexpected attitude, I would say. For over five years, even during the general elections of 2017 on certain occasions, I felt that I was being sidelined and after that, now five years. Though I was attached to the party, I have come to a situation where it is tough to continue my link with the party.
Goemkarponn: Did the party give you any indication you will not be considered for the Mandrem seat?
Laxmikant Parsekar: No, I was not told that. But I suspected some “Dhond” (waste or dirt) in the party. But I had complete faith in the top leaders of the BJP in Delhi. But somehow, these people successfully proved that Parsekar was not the deserving candidate.
Goemkarponn: Why has BJP reached such a situation where the core karyakartas are sidelined, and the outsiders walk away with the tickets?
Laxmikant Parsekar: In the last five years, what has happened is unacceptable to any BJP karyakartas in Goa. I do not know why this is happening. I can say that those making money; maybe sending it to some party leaders. People like me did not come here to make money, so the question of giving money does not arise.
Goemkarponn: Do you think the BJP is committing the same mistakes which Congress did in 2012?Laxmikant Parsekar: Not just repeating, it is doubling or tripling of what Congress did in 2012. At least what Congress did, we were raising our voice against that, but now it is happening in BJP, so it is kind of acceptable to everyone (corruption & defections). So we do not know where Goa is heading. The BJP, which we nurtured, is fallen into the wrong hands, and to bring it back, we have to take some firm decisions.
Goemkarponn: What are your future plans?
Laxmikant Parsekar: To tell you frankly, politics is not my business. I see politics from a social angle for the development of my constituency, for people to get employment, providing basic needs like water, power and hence I will make a decision taking all these issues into consideration.
Goemkarponn: But you held your core karyakarta meeting yesterday and said you would go independent. Is it true?
Laxmikant Parsekar: Yes, I am heading in that direction, but the party I have been related to for decades cannot just leave it like that. I also have the responsibility of the manifesto committee, which I could not leave, and I will hand over my responsibilities and join my supporters. My supporters have made all preparations. If you had seen yesterdays meeting, hundreds of karyakartas were present, who did not come by paid buses but on their own. The last time my karyakartas decided to support Sopte was in 2019, but after he got elected, he completely neglected the old BJP karyakartas, and they were upset. They were quiet all this while because of me and the party. Now they have been after me to take a call. The meeting was a huge success, and we can create history this time.
Goemkarponn: Did any BJP leader or CM speak to you after your name was not considered?
Laxmikant Parsekar: No none of them called. But a day before I was called to Delhi, I was told to take any party position or Government but not claim this ticket. I had told them the current MLA is losing popularity which was proved in the Zilla Panchayat elections. Also, in the last few months, some audios and videos of corruption and other scams have been out, which has dented his image, and there is no possibility of him getting elected. I told them I did not want any offer but wanted to be an MLA but had no political aspirations. The big projects that I had started as a Chief Minister have been left untouched for the last five years, and I want to take them ahead by becoming an MLA.
Goemkarponn: Has any party approached you for contesting on their ticket?
Laxmikant Parsekar: That way, two new parties have come, and they have been giving me offers, and I have politely declined them. I did not want to leave the party which we had nurtured. But now, after I see the recruitment scam etc., I feel dejected; I do not know what my party BJP is doing today. I can’t believe it. A youth who fails in police constable exams with just 19 marks gets 99 marks for PSI exams. Can you believe it? This is not just a one-off case. There are several of them. This means a student who fails SSC passes B.Sc with a gold medal. Isn’t it? What kind of people we are recruiting in government departments? What work will they do for the people?
Goemkarponn: Can you defeat Sopte as an independent?
Laxmikant Parsekar: I have complete trust in my voters. Sometimes they get emotionally carried away. People are disappointed with the way the current Government is functioning. The major development projects they are being overlooked for the last five years. Instead of taking forward water supply projects supplying during my time, the current MLA is sending water to people with tankers through his supporters. Should Mandrem locals drink water from tankers?
Similarly, we have taken up Rs 51 cr building for Rural Health Centre on lines with Mandur. It is government money, but the project is not being looked into. If the community health centre had come up there, I could say what happened during the COVID19 second wave could have been averted. The taluka would have got a good facility as people would not have to go to GMC all the way. He did not solve any issues of Mandrem.
Another thing is the electronic city, which was my brainchild as I thought that everyone could not be given a government job and hence we had come up with the concept of the electronic city. In 2.5 years of my tenure, I did everything, but nothing has gone ahead in the last five years. Not even a work order has been issued. It would have been a big help to reduce unemployment. Someone is doing it deliberately to keep Pernemkars behind., I want the development and progress of my constituency, and hence I am going to contest independent. I will declare the same in the next 2-3 days.
Goemkarponn: If you win independent, will you support BJP again?
Laxmikant Parsekar: Though I have come from BJP. The party has a huge anti-incumbency factor. The BJP has made lots of mistakes. On the other hand, Congress has failed to fulfil the people’s expectations, so people do not trust them. New parties do not have enough trust in people yet. So the trend looks like people will vote for individuals and candidates who are efficient. Most of the independents will get elected. Independents will have an important role to give stable govt in the next five years.
Goemkarponn: Do you think there is some lobby working against you in BJP trying to keep you at bay?
Laxmikant Parsekar: I do not want to name anyone, but there is a big hindrance in the party. There is a big “Dhond” (waste/ dirt? He has to concentrate on organisation, but his 50 per cent concentration is on keeping Laxmikant Parsekar away. Secondly, 49 per cent is on Bicholim, and the remaining 1 p.c is on Goa. He has done nothing for the party. I feel sad about where the party is heading. Central leaders will come to know about this after the 2022 elections. The party has to rectify such issues immediately.
Goemkarponn: Do you think BJP has become overconfident after the victories of Zilla Parishad and Municipal elections?
Laxmikant Parsekar: Yes. Party has to show confidence, but this is overconfidence. I do not want to defame the party while I am moving out. We have nurtured this party, but a few people are finishing it. In 2017 I had a party ticket but not people’s support, but today I have people’s support but no party ticket.
Goemkarponn: Would you give a second thought to your decision?
Laxmikant Parsekar: The need for a second thought doesn’t arise. The only issue is that I have the responsibility of the manifesto that I will hand over and then be free.
Goemkarponn: Sir, last question, BJP has given two tickets to two families in the candidate’s list. At the same time, Utpal Parrikar was denied a ticket. What is your view on ignoring Utpal?
Laxmikant Parsekar: I do not want to comment on the issue as it is a party decision. BJP has always said it does not want to promote dynastic politics. So I would not be able to comment.