Sawant eliminating Parrikar’s legacy: Sacked Goa Deputy CM

Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, July 13 (IANS) Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai on Saturday said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was trying to wipe out former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s legacy, just as Nikita Khrushchev tried to wipe out his predecessor Stalin’s legacy in the USSR after the latter’s death.

Sardesai’s comments came minutes after he was sacked from the Pramod Sawant cabinet, along with three other ministers.

Sardesai also said no central BJP leader had the “moral authority and ethical vision” to ask him to resign from the government.

Sardesai and the three other ministers had refused to resign from the cabinet despite Sawant’s request on Friday and were unceremoniously sacked on Saturday.

Addressing a meeting of party workers at the proposed site of Parrikar’s ‘samadhi’, Sardesai also announced the withdrawal of support of his three MLAs to the BJP-led coalition government.

He said that Parrikar had died twice, once physically on March 17 and again on July 13, when the four alliance ministers — including one Independent legislator — were dropped from the cabinet.

“When Stalin died in Russia, there was a period under (Nikita) Khruschev called de-Stalinization, when Stalin’s legacy was undone. This is going on in Goa. Attempts are being made to wipe out Parrikar’s legacy,” Sardesai said at the meeting, calling the ongoing developments a “political rape of Goa”.

Sardesai added that two days before Parrikar died, he had met him, and the ailing Chief Minister had requested him to continue his support to the BJP-led coalition government even after his death for the full term of five years.

“I asked him (Parrikar) what is in your mind about the road ahead after you. He was bleeding from his lungs. He said, ‘Vijai both of us came together for five years, irrespective of whether I am there or not,’ That is why we had supported Pramod Sawant,” Sardesai said.

The former Deputy Chief Minister said that because of his commitment to a dying Parrikar, he did not join any attempt to overthrow the BJP-led coalition government, although he had a “standing offer” for more than a year, from the Congress to switch sides and become Chief Minister.

Sardesai accused the central BJP leadership of lacking the courage to personally ask him to resign, a message which was instead communicated to him telephonically by Sawant on Friday.

“I wanted to see which central leader had the moral authority or ethical vision to ask me to resign. No central BJP leader had the moral authority to tell me to resign. This is backstabbing,” Sardesai said.

Sardesai was one of the several MLAs who after long discussions with central BJP leaders had agreed to be part of the BJP alliance government headed by the late Parrikar.

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