Newly-elected state BJP president SADANAND TANAWDE in an exclusive interview with RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR says that it is wrong to specify the figure of party legislators who will be elected in the 2022 assembly elections
Q: After taking over as the new state BJP president, your immediate task is to take your party to victory at the forthcoming zilla panchayat elections. How do you see the BJP prospects at these polls?
The then BJP government had taken a decision to hold the previous zilla panchayat elections, held in 2015, on party lines. I don’t think there is a need to change that decision for the forthcoming ZP polls. Contesting the ZP election, or for that matter any election, with the party symbol is advantageous in more than one ways. For one, the use of the party symbol makes an immediate impact on the voters. Secondly, the practice of more than one person contesting as particular party’s representatives in the absence of a party symbol ends. Our main aim is winning the 2022 assembly elections in Goa. However, the panchayat, the ZP and the municipal elections are also important for us. I won’t consider these elections as quarter final or semi final or even run-up to the assembly elections. However, they have their own rightful place. The panchayat, the ZP and the municipal elections are contested on the respective local issues and are also won on these issues. I can say that the BJP will sail through the ZP elections.
Q: After taking over as the new state BJP chief, you had said that you would discuss with the central BJP leadership the diversion of water from the Mhadei by Karnataka as well as the closure of mining activities in Goa, and try finding a solution to them…
The Chief Minister is already in discussion with the Union government that is the concerned central ministers over these issues. Furthermore, as these issues also have a judicial angle: the Goa government is trying to find a solution to them through judiciary. However, the state unit of the BJP will also take up these matters with the party’s central leadership to expedite the solution to the same. We are confident of receiving all related assistance from the central BJP leadership. I would also like to mention here that the ongoing propaganda as regards the central BJP leadership supporting the Karnataka government on the Mhadei issue, due to the limited number of Members of Parliament elected from Goa, is totally baseless and false. The central leadership of the BJP has all the respect for Goa and is genuinely concerned about Goa’s problems. Furthermore, the Goa Pradesh BJP is very much sensitive to all Goan problems
including the Mhadei issue. We have also taken a stand as regards not giving even an extra drop of the Mhadei water to Karnataka, than what is due to it. I can confidently say that the central BJP leadership is not biased against Goa.
Q: What will be BJP’s stand towards Utpal Parrikar, son of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, if he wishes to work for the party?
Anyone is welcome to work for the BJP, if he or she wishes so. The BJP is not a family party and works on the strength of its workers. Speaking of myself, I had no political affiliation before joining this party. I joined it as a simple worker and rose through the ranks to become the state party president. Therefore, whoever wants to join the party can do it, then work for the party and move upwards. We had learnt this very lesson from Bhai (Manohar Parrikar). He is our idol and we follow him. We have absolutely no problem in Utpal working for the party. We would be glad if he does. I would also say that there is a lot of scope for any party worker in the BJP, if he works hard for the party.
Q: You also have another challenge before you namely pacifying some senior disgruntled leaders of the party, besides a few other party workers, especially in the Panaji constituency…
There is a wrong perception about a few of our leaders being dissatisfied with the party. There might be a few minor differences existing in some constituencies, but on a higher level there is no displeasure of any kind. Frankly speaking, carrying forward the work of a national party can never be a task of a single person. It is a collective responsibility. Therefore, there is no competition of any kind among us. And if at all some differences arises between some of our leaders and the party then the same will be sorted out before the forthcoming state assembly election through discussions. Everything would be settled at the right time.
Q: The Chief Minister as well as the previous state president of the BJP have spoken on the need for getting at least 30 BJP MLAs elected at the 2022 Goa assembly elections. What is your view about the same?
I would not like to comment on the figure of 30. I cannot even come out with the actual number of BJP MLAs, who would be elected at the 2020 state assembly elections. However, I am working to get absolute majority for my party at this election. I feel, it is wrong to come out with a specific figure of the legislators, who will be elected at this election. Therefore, I would like to refrain from doing it. I will put to use the entire organisational strength of the party to reinstate the BJP government to power after the 2022 state assembly elections.
Q: As the newly elected state BJP president, when will you meet the central leaders in New Delhi?
As of now, the organisational elections of the BJP in almost all the states are over, and January 20 is the tentative date for the election of the national president of the party. If this election does take place on the specified date then I will have to go to New Delhi for the same. During this visit, I intend to meet all the senior leaders of the party.
Source:: The Navhind Times