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Vijai says he is not afraid of mid-term elections

Panaji: With an eye on capturing more assembly constituencies in the future state assembly elections, the Goa Forward Party on Sunday launched its toll-free, 24-hour helpline – 18002000999 – for eight constituencies, further stating that it is the youngest party facing no problems whatsoever, including health issues and internal differences, and therefore is a force to be reckoned with.

Launching the helpline in the city for the constituencies of Fatorda, Saligao, Siolim, Mayem, Ponda, Cuncolim, Taleigao and St Cruz, the Town and Country Planning Minister and GFP president Vijai Sardesai said that his party is the youngest party in the state and therefore should not have any health problems.

“GFP is a party that is willing to engage with everyone, and further act as well as help every Goemkar, and therefore you will have to look forward to us,” he added, pointing out, “You may not like us, but you can’t ignore us.”

Vinod Paliencar and Jayesh Salgaonkar, both GFP ministers, and GFP leader Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate were present on the occasion along with office-bearers of the party.

Stating that the helpline, which will function with the motto of ‘hope, help and act’, is a Diwali gift from his party to Goans, Sardesai said the particular helpline will accept queries, problems, complaints and even suggestions from public, and will be extended to more constituencies by next year.

“By 2019, the helpline will move to more constituencies, taking their numbers to double digit,” he mentioned.

The GFP chief said the helpline is a quasi-government structure, which among other things will also assist the members of public in getting their works done at the government level.

“There is an insensitive bureaucracy running this administration to some extent, and it calls for an intervention from a party which is a part of the coalition government, so that we are in a position to help people,” the Minister for Town and Country Planning maintained, pointing out, “We want to give it a try, so as to portray that we are giving a transparent and pro-aam aadmi governance.”

He also admitted that the bureaucracy is not fully under his command, and such things are inherent to the system as endemic issues.

Replying to a question, Sardesai said that preparation by any political party in view of the forthcoming election is a continuous process. “Some people want (state assembly) election; mostly these are the people who are not in a position of power that they aspire for, including those who have been defeated during the last election as also those in a ruling party and yet have not got what they want,” he observed, stating that he doesn’t want any election, but if there is one, he won’t run away.

Answering another question, the Minister for Town and Country Planning said that Goa may be a small state, but definitely not a soft state, and would not bow down to any pressure as regards giving relaxation to fish traders in following the Food and Drugs Administration guidelines.

“There will be no rollback of this order, and I fully support the concerned minister, Vishwajit Rane in this endeavour as he is going in right direction,” he added.

Sardesai was reacting to Maharashtra MLA Nitesh Rane’s recent statement, wherein he had threatened not to allow Goa registration vehicles in Sindhudurg district, if the FDA continues stopping fish carrying vehicles from areas like Devgad and Ratnagiri entering Goa.

“The standard of Goans is different from that of people from Sindhudurg district, due to which we didn’t merge Goa in Maharashtra,” Sardesai retorted, reiterating that the state government will not compromise on the issue of checking fish imported into Goa. [NT]

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