BJP top brass descended in Salcete on Sunday to woo the minority community ahead of the 2017 Assembly election, exuding confidence that Salcete will stand by the Party to form a stable government again, with Defense Minister, Manohar Parrikar reassuring Saxttikars that Dabolim airport will not be shut and promising equal importance for all communities under BJP rule.
The Defense Minister, in particular, played on Saxttikars’ self-respect and pride, saying people from the minority taluka will teach a befitting lesson to the corrupt leaders once again.
BJP leaders, including Parrikar, Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar, deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, rounded off their visit to Salcete in the presence of Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado and Velim MLA Benjamin D’Silva, by inaugurating the Seafarers Cell in the South district Collecorate and the Navelim health centre and laying the foundation stone for the sports complex on the Navelim-Margao border.
In an oblique reference to the Medium of Instruction issue, Parrikar said what better proof do the people of Salcete require of the government’s commitment to give justice to all Goans without discrimination, reminding them how the government had to face the brunt of certain people, who accused the party of appeasing the minorities. “Salcete politicians instill fear in the people against the BJP on the eve of election. But, I don’t think people will fall prey to their machinations any more. The BJP has ruled the State for around nine years now and I don’t think people fear the BJP. We take all sections of the society together. We have been attacked for appeasement. What better proof you require that we are committed to giving equal importance and justice for all communities”, Parrikar said while addressing Navelkars on Sunday.
Rebutting criticism that BJP government indulged in appeasement of the minorities, Parrikar said “I don’t believe in appeasement, but certainly we believe in giving justice to all Goans”.
Coming down heavily on certain Salcete politicians for trying to create a North-South divide, Parrikar said “Mopa may be located in extreme north, but Dabolim will remain. It will not be shut down. The Union Civil Aviation Minister has made a statement in that direction and the Goa government had taken a decision not to shut down Dabolim”.
Stressing on the need for a stable government to complete the pending works, Parrikar said the Digambar Kamat government also had a majority, but it failed to deliver the goods because of the mining loot and corruption, including the Louis Berger scam. “I am confident that self-respecting Salcete people will teach the corrupt Congress leaders a lesson again”, Parrikar said.
Both the Defense Minister and the Chief Minister said the state would get 37 per cent of the revenue from Mopa airport, saying it will take five years for the airport to stablise.
Parsekar said Salcete need not fear when the BJP government is in power. “Some people tried to instill fear in the minorities. Francis D’Souza’s election helped to remove these fears. Five more Catholic MLAs were elected on the BJP banner in the 2012 Assembly election and all these six MLAs never felt any discrimination in the party. Today more people from the minority community are joining BJP. Mauvin Godinho has now joined the party”, Parsekar said, indicating that many others from the minority community will join the party in the days ahead.