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BJP veterans raise banner of revolt

Panaji: Although the resentment of the dissident group in the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has taken concrete shape with a meeting being planned at the house of Mapusa MLA Francis D’Souza on November 8 to discuss the ‘recent activities’ of the state BJP unit, the ‘convenor’ of the meeting Laxmikant Parsekar on Sunday said that it is the media that is setting the agenda for the particular ‘get-together’.

“I was recently at the Mapusa residence of D’Souza on a courtesy visit, and at that time had suggested that we, the senior members of the party from Goa, should meet next week, after Diwali, as the party has hurt us in some way or the other,” Parsekar told ‘The Navhind Times’, quipping, “There is however no specific agenda of this meeting, and the media has blown up this meeting so much out of proportion that we are considering holding this meeting at a later date, at a secret location.”

The November 8 meeting is also expected to be attended by Rajendra Arlekar, Dayanand Mandrekar, Mahadev Naik and even Ramesh Tawadkar, who was denied candidature at the 2017 state assembly polls by the BJP.

D’Souza, Parsekar, Arlekar and Mandrekar are all members of the state BJP core committee.

When asked about the intention to hold a meeting at D’Souza’s residence, Parsekar said that meetings of the senior members of the party from Goa were held in the past at various places, ranging from the BJP office to the residence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Incidentally, Parsekar had not attended one such meeting at the residence of Parrikar convened on November 1, stating that he did so deliberately so as to convey his resentment and bitterness.

Parsekar and Naik have been deeply hurt by the recent induction of former Congressmen Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar into the BJP, as the two former Congress MLAs had defeated the BJP veterans at the 2017 state assembly elections, respectively, and are now slated to contest the by-polls in the same constituencies as the BJP candidates.

D’Souza, and also Pandurang Madkaikar, had been unceremoniously dropped from the state cabinet when he was in the US for treatment.

Parsekar said that he however has already expressed his resentment against the state party president for keeping the Mandrem constituency as well as the party workers from this constituency in the dark while inducting Sopte into the BJP.

“I felt that the particular decision was wrong, and that was my stand, and I still hold to it,” he added, observing that he is firm on his stand and feels that he himself and all the office-bearers on the BJP Mandal committee from Mandrem were ignored during Sopte’s induction.

The former chief minister also said that if the party leaders had to induct Sopte into the BJP in the interest of the party, then he should have been privy to the related decision-making process, as he had represented the Mandrem constituency on a number of occasions in the past. [NT]

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