Following the death of Goa's chief minister Manohar Parrikar, it is increasingly clear that Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar could be the next chief minister. In a meeting between 9 of BJP's supporting MLAs and BJP minister Nitin Gadkari, the name of Goa BJP chief Vinay Dinu Tendulkar has been proposed.
Panaji: Following the death of Goa's chief minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa is submerged in a political crisis. It is increasingly clear that Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar could be the next chief minister. MyNation has exclusive details on what went on behind the scenes on the intervening night of March 17 and 18.
Nitin Gadkari, BJPs man behind the deal which strengthened Parrikar's position in Goa, flew to the beach state as news broke that the 'peoples CM' had passed away.
A good friend of Manohar Parrikar, Gadkari paid his last respect to Parrikar and stood with the family as they made quick discussions about funeral preparations due to happen on Monday.
But Gadkari had little time to grieve about Parrikar's loss and soon had to deal with the cold politics that ensued. The minority BJP government in Goa is supported by 3 independents, 3 MLAs from Goa forward and 3 from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). But interestingly so, none of them supported BJP and supported only Parrikar. This was the reason why BJP had to let go of the Goan man from the southern block. But what once seemed supporting Parrikar was supporting BJP, it doesn't hold true anymore. With Parrikar's demise Congress has made a quick move to stake their claim on Goa.
Highly placed sources within BJP say, a meeting took place between the nine MLAs and Nitin Gadkari. The meeting started around 3 AM and went on till the wee hours. Gadkari, armed with a suggestion from the central BJP proposed Pramod Sawant's name as the next chief minister for Goa. The young Sawant is the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly. He also represents the Sanquelim constituency in Goa. The proposal faced stiff opposition from the 9 MLAs, led by Vijay Sardesai. His name as CM was snubbed on the grounds that 'he is an RSS man'. Sawant is the only BJP Goa MLA who comes from the RSS cadre.
In fact, last year in October he met with RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat to pitch for the top post. He is believed to have lobbied with BJP's Ram Lal as well.
But now, when it matters the most, his name has been 'rejected outright' by the 9 MLAs, said sources privy to the development. The logic the 9 MLAs gave is that Sawant's belief system is against Goan culture. The Ayurveda practitioner has been espousing for a beef ban in the state. He is also said to be against the concept of Goa turning into an alcohol state, things that make the state unique. It is this belief system that worked against him.
The MLAs, sources say, proposed the name of Goa BJP chief Vinay Dinu Tendulkar for the top job instead. Tendulkar is currently a Rajya Sabha member and earlier served as a minister in the Goa government. While he is perceived to be a man without controversies, he is also a man devoid of administrative skills. Many within BJP fear this lack of skills may be exploited to engage in corruption in a state that is well known for mining scams and substance abuse. When the meeting ended at 5.30 AM on Monday morning, Gadkari is believed to have sought a couple of hours to get an okay from the central BJP. Ever since, neither BJP nor the 9 MLAs have said anything, leading people to presume BJP has been forced to bite the bullet, faced with Congress snatching power in the beach state.
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Last Updated Mar 18, 2019, 2:06 PM IST