Panaji: Minister for Ports Jayesh Salgaonkar on Monday expressed his desire to see a leader of the Bhandari Samaj becoming the next Chief Minister of the state.
“May be in future you will see Bhandari Samaj leader holding the Chief Minister’s post,” said Salgaonkar who hails from the community.
He was interacting with media persons in presence of senior Bhandari Samaj leader and Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent charge) Shripad Naik in Panaji.
“Bhandari Samaj is very ambitious at the same time we need to focus on the downtrodden. There are people who have been lagging behind and we need to bring them at the forefront and work together for the upliftment of the Samaj,” he added.
However, Shripad Naik, who has been a prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said that it was not the right time to talk about the selection of the Chief Minister and future politics.
“The Samaj is not a political party; they (party) will decide when the situation arises. But the selection of chief minister will not be done by the Bhandari community,” Naik said.
The Gomantak Bhandari Samaj which got bifurcated four years back into two different groups mainly a group led by Subhash Kalangutkar and another by senior BJP leader Anil Hoble held a joint meeting in presence of Shripad Naik at a city hotel and took a decision to come together under one umbrella for the ‘interest’ of the community members.
Speaking on the occasion, Fisheries Minister Vinod Playekar claimed that there were never any differences between the leaders of Bhandari Samaj and it was just a misunderstanding that led to the bifurcation of community in two groups.
President of the Gomantak Bhandari Samaj Anil Hoble stressed on the need to work together and said that it was the right time for youth to come forward and take over the responsibility of the community. [NT]