Rebellion within RSS ranks of Goa unit leading to a separate party formation in the state will severely dent the prospects of BJP…says Rajya Sabha MP from Goa Shantaram Naik. In an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV veteran leader says that all the talks about Congress leaders joining BJP, a falsehood spread by defence minister Manohar Parrikar.
Naik emphasised that congress is in a much better position to form the government as compared to BJP. The lone Rajya Sabha MP from the coastal state has dismissed the presence of Aam Admi Party in 2017 polls saying that he will be surprised if the party gets even a single seat.
Slamming the former Manohar Parrikar government for illegal mining and crippling the economy, Naik went on to highlight the corruption caused due to the casino culture. He stressed that money earned from the casinos eventually fills the pockets of the politicians.
HERE ARE EXCERPTS OF THE INTERVIEW GIVEN TO RAJYA SABHA TV ANCHOR NEELU VYAS
Q) IS CONGRESS FIGHTING THE TOUGHEST ELECTION IN GOA?
A) Congress is in better position to win more seats than BJP. Aam Aadmi party is eating into Cong votes, Separate party formation by RSS outfit will dent into BJP votes, and assessing upcoming elections will be difficult for journalists.
Q) HASNT THE ENTRY OF AAAM ADMI PARTY WORSENED THE PROSPECTS OF CONGRESS?
A) Aam Aadmi party not likely to get a single seat, in the South constituency, Aam Aadmi Party will manage votes, their candidates will lose deposits.
Q) CONGRESS MLAs INSIDE THE GOA ASSEMBLY HAVE NOT RAISED THE ISSUES WHICH A PRINCIPAL OPPOSITION PARTY SHOULD RAISE?
A) From the Goan standard agitations were there, Leaders of the opposition are functioning properly. Independent leaders work effectively, Mobin Gudino was technically out of Cong 5:46
Q) ANALYSTS SAY THAT CONGRESS IS A B TEAM OF BJP BECUASE VARIOUS CONGRESS LEADERS HAVE JOINED BJP?
A) Cong MLAs joining BJP, a rumour by Manohar Parrikar, Parrikar blamed Cong for illegal mining. After winning elections Parrikar changed his statement of illegal mining, talks about B team has no meaning
Q) MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IS AVERY BIG POLL ISSUE, HOW IS CONGRESS TAKING IT UP?
A) Political parties cannot take stand on languages, Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch wants to defeat BJP and we are giving grants to English medium schools. It was Cong who gave Konkani the status of national language.
Q) WHAT ABOUT YOUR STAND ON THE CASINO CULTURE?
A) As a ruling party we allowed casino culture, people are against casinos and we should identify other sources of revenue. Mainly tourism ads to Goa’s revenue collection, boosting mining sector will add to Goa’s GDP growth. Casinos cannot be banned because money from them goes to politicians.
Q) MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT AAM ADMI PARTY IS PROVIDING A CREDIBLE OPTION TO THE GOANS?
A) Arvind Kejriwal cannot be an example to be given; no sane man can vote for Aam Aadmi party, I will be surprised if they can manage one seat, you cannot compare Cong and BJP with Aam Aadmi party.
Q) IS THERE CONFUSION IN THE MIND OF CONGRESS REGARDING SEAT SHARING AND ALLIANCE?
A) Some people were in favour that we contest 40 seats due to some mischief we don’t have any alliance. In Goa, everything is fair in love and war. Maharashtra Gomantak Party ruled for 17 years but have nothing to boost about. Central govt should give funds to develop the 6 riverside areas to improve transport.
Q) DO YOU THINK DEMONITISATION WILL IMPACT THE ELECTIONS IN GOA?
A) Goa was the first state to be declared cashless, demonetisation has led to unemployment. People will now want answers from Prime Minister Modi. He was not available for any answers during the winter session but people will now vote-against BJP and tell the prime minister what they felt and how they felt post demonetisation.