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If made CM, will take stakeholders into confidence unlike Parrikar: Goa Dy. Speaker

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.



Manhohar Parrikar

Panaji, Dec 13 : Deputy Speaker, Goa Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Michael Lobo on Thursday said if he is given the opportunity to become the Chief Minister, he would take all stakeholders into confidence before taking decisions which impact state economy, unlike incumbent Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Lobo also told reporters here that Parrikar, who is currently ailing with advanced pancreatic cancer, had taken a unilateral decision to suspend mining leases in 2012 which led to a prolonged impasse in the sector and two Supreme Court bans on all ore excavation and transportation in the coastal state.

“If I am given an opportunity in the near future to become Chief Minister, I will ensure that major decisions will be made after taking stakeholders into confidence. In 2012, when Parrikar suspended mining, none of us knew such a decision would be taken and see what damage it has caused to Goa,” Lobo said.

His comment comes at a time when a group of mining dependents are protesting at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds, demanding resumption of mining which was banned — for the second time in the last six years — by the Supreme Court in February, while singling out the state government for irregularities in renewal of mining leases.

Lobo’s criticism of Parrikar comes on the ailing Chief Minister’s 63rd birthday, which is being celebrated by the state BJP in the absence of the former Defence Minister, who has not moved out of his private residence for official chores since October 14.

Lobo also said that while Parrikar is his “political guru”, the BJP leader as a Chief Minister has failed to sufficiently address key issues like employment, lack of which he said was creating a crisis of sorts among the youth of Goa.

This is not the first time that a ruling legislator has criticised the functioning of the chief minister and his reluctance to quit the chief ministerial post on account of his prolonged illness.

State president of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party Deepak Dhavalikar, whose outfit is a part of the ruling BJP-led coalition, has demanded that Parrikar step down and hand over charge to a senior minister because his absence from office has “brought state administration to a halt”.

Parrikar is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.

He returned from New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14 and since then has not moved out of his private residence for any official event.

The Opposition and ruling coalition allies have been demanding for the resignation of the Chief Minister, claiming that the administration has come to a standstill due to Parrikar’s absence.

Parrikar has been MLA of Panaji since 1994. In 2014, he vacated the seat after he was elevated as Defence Minister. He won the seat again after he returned to state politics in 2017.



My phone is being tapped: Mamata



Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that her phone is being tapped by Central agencies.

While reacting to the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the Trinamool Congress chief levelled the charge of phone tapping against the Narendra Modi-led Central government.

“The Government had inputs from intelligence agencies on February 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken? Why was the convoy of 78 vehicles allowed?…I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always tapped, as you all know,” she said.

Mamata also accused several Hindutva organisations including the RSS of hatching a conspiracy in the wake of the Pulwama attack to create divisions in the country, including in her state.

“In Hooghly’s Srerampore, they intervened in a community celebration. RSS workers are outsiders and they do not belong to Bengal. They are creating a riot like situation between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

Banerjee said it’s a ploy to spread communal violence.

“It is a gameplan to spread communal violence. No one should fall in this trap. I have also heard that the RSS are forcing people to wear burqa and pose as child lifters.

“Rumours are being spread and some incidents have taken place in Kolkata as well. This is being done by the RSS, the BJP and the VHP, they only spread violence.”

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Pulwama attack: Why no action despite inputs from intelligence, asks Mamata



Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Feb 18: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday questioned the central government for not taking actions despite inputs received from intelligence agencies warning of terror attacks before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Government had inputs from intelligence agencies on Feb 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken?, she asked while addressing a press conference.

The Chief Minister further stated “Why 78 convoys were still allowed?…I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always taped, as you all know”.

Banerjee also accused the RSS and the BJP of trying to incite communal violence in West Bengal.

“We have kept quiet, but we have seen Modiji and Amit Shah delivering speeches daily. And the way they are speaking, it seems as if they are the only patriotic leaders in the country. This is not right,” she said.

Banerjee told media following Thursday’s terror attack, the entire Opposition has stood behind the Centre without asking any question.

“Modiji must tell us what action he has taken between the attacks in Pathankot and Pulwama. What action has he taken in the past five years?” she asked, adding, “If he cannot take control of the political situation in the country, he should resign.”


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Rahul Gandhi to launch election campaign in Maharashtra on March 1



Rahul Gandhi

Mumbai, Feb 18: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will launch the national campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra with a mega rally in Dhule, a traditional party bastion, on March 1, an official said here on Monday.

Gandhi will begin the campaign at 3 p.m. in the presence of other top leaders.

The same day, as per a tentative schedule, he may even visit Mumbai and address a rally here.

The UPA alliance in Maharashtra will set the ball rolling for the parliamentary elections by its first joint poll campaign rally in Nanded on Wednesday, said state party chief Ashok Chavan.

The rally will see the participation of UPA constituents including the Nationalist Congress Party, the PRP and other parties and their top leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Sharad Pawar and Jogendra Kawade.

This will be followed by another UPA rally to be hosted by the NCP’s Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, in his home town of Parli, Beed, on Saturday.

According to party sources, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi is also likely to address some rallies in the state, although the details are yet to be finalised.

Dhule and Nanded are traditional Congress bastions in Northern Maharashtra and the Marathwada regions of the state, with a fair sprinkling of minorities, tribals, Dalits and other sections of population.


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