BJP-MGP alliance to remain intact in Goa

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The much-touted overnight ‘Chintan Baithak’, the contemplation meeting of the legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ended on Tuesday, with the party deciding to continue its alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) discarding the reservations expressed by a couple of legislators over the functioning of Minister for Public Works Department and Transport Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar belonging to the MGP. 

President of the state BJP unit Vinay Tendulkar, who was also present at the two-day Chintan Baithak held at the beach village of Calangute, said that the BJP-MGP alliance would remain intact for the entire term of the present state legislative assembly.

The state BJP chief informed that few BJP MLAs openly spoke about the apathy displayed by the PWD Minister towards undertaking developmental works in their respective constituencies. He further rubbished all speculations that the BJP-MGP alliance is moving towards a split.

The statement by Tendulkar gathers importance at the backdrop of the recent MGP decision to contest the upcoming Zilla Panchayat elections in alliance with the BJP.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, who also participated in the party’s contemplation meeting, said that he has given push to the demand pertaining to Rs 450-crore financial assistance for tourism infrastructure by discussing it with Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who attended the meet.

Speaking further, Parulekar said that he has also sought funds for an aquarium project at Miramar, besides a museum, beautification of the Mayem lake and a conference hall at Ponda. “The Union Defence Minister will also arrange a meeting with the respective Union ministers in Delhi so as to avail central schemes for Goa in areas like rural development, housing, agriculture and IT, which would reduce the state’s financial burden and benefit the people,” he added, pointing out, “Parrikar has assured that eight slots for aircraft parking would be reserved at the Dabolim airport to facilitate the arrivals of the chartered planes.

The meeting also assessed the ongoing membership drive of the party in the state, which is aimed towards adding 3.5 lakh members on the BJP’s membership list. The legislators attending the meeting felt that record membership to the tune of 3.5 lakh would be an important achievement as the Zilla Panchayat elections, which will be held on party lines, are just round the corner, and the membership of the party would indicate the real strength of the party.

The setting up of the new booth-level committees as well as block-level committees keeping in mind the 2017 assembly elections, was also discussed during the meeting.

The Calangute MLA, Michael Lobo, speaking to this daily said that he raised the issue of the garbage treatment plant at Calangute, besides need for improved infrastructure facilities so as to attract tourists from UK, Finland and Germany to Goa.

Meanwhile, the BJP has formed a 13-member election committee headed by Tendulkar for handling the campaign for the Panaji by-election as well as the Zilla Panchayat polls.