Thursday 28 Sep 2023

Parrikar syndrome?: Sawant slays 'unemployment' in solitary argument

Ashley do Rosario, Warren Menezes | SEPTEMBER 07, 2023, 11:16 PM IST

No one could demolish criticism in single, one-line arguments as Goa's former chief minister, the late Manohar Parrikar could. When critics and opponents bayed for his government with hard facts and statistics, he demolished them with 'statistics like bikinis, hide more than what they reveal' riposte. Another Parrikar classic was when he addressed the media while admitting his then favourite target and now Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho (Parrikar was the original complainant in the Power Subsidy Scam case the latter is currently undergoing trial for).

"It (power subsidy scam) was not a scam. It was an attempt to scam," is how Parrikar shot back to a journo who pointed out his double-standards in admitting a 'corrupt' politician who he himself had taken on with criminal proceedings.

It now seems like Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is attempting to emulate this 'one-argument Parrikar syndrome' of his mentor and predecessor to demolish criticism of his government. 

Last week at the official Teacher's Day event at the 'Durbar Hall' the CM demolished the high unemployment rate criticism against his government in the one-argument style reminiscent of his mentor and predecessor: "There is no unemployment in Goa...there is work for those who want to work."

It's quite another matter that these one-argument ripostes cut little ice but then it carries the moment and the day. It did for Parrikar, where opponents and journos were often left dumbstruck,  and now Sawant is following suit.

MLAs hit snooze on 

Leh-Ladakh study tour

Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar has scrapped the study tour to Leh-Ladakh after MLAs showed no interest. The tour was supposed to be held this month and was an opportunity for the legislators to study the environment and tourism related governance issues there.

Earlier this year, nine MLAs had gone to Gujarat on a 'study tour' to learn about 'Good governance'. However, it seems like the bunch of lawmakers learnt the wrong lessons, as the media space is coloured with reportage of scam after scam since they returned from the junket.

It's anybody's guess that such 'study tours' serve more as junkets for the high-life accustomed politicos rather than an opportunity to experience and learn from governance best practices in the toured States.

Leave alone best practices in other States, the government and its ministers seem to be struggling to pull off even a semblance of success in matters of governance that crop up at the 'Janata Darbar' initiative it recently launched.

Nonetheless the cancellation of the Leh-Ladakh junket comes with its own silver lining though: Taxpayers' money hasn't gone into the lakes there.

What's with Mormugao's sleazy 

politicos and 'sex scandals'?

Nearly two years after an alleged 'sex scandal' scalped one of Mormugao taluka's better known politicians, former minister Milind Naik who had to quit his cabinet post and also lost the subsequent election in 2022, yet another alleged sex scandal has cast a shadow over another of Mormugao's political veterans.

Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, himself has admitted that he is the target of this latest scandal which has swarmed the social media space. Godinho has claimed that a 'fake' audio clip is being doctored by a group of people to ‘nail’ him. 

Godinho has revealed that senior police officers have informed him that "some people" have approached an expert to clone his voice using Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to him one expert who was approached had refused and now another has been approached.

Who then is it that wants 

to 'nail' Godinho? 

Apparently, the minister suspects one from among the turncoats who switched over to the saffron camp in September last year. Who does not fit in the jigsaw puzzle, however, is Girish Chodankar, the former GPCC chief, who's tweet on the matter had spilled the beans. Interestingly, it was Girish bab who was also the 'whistle-blower' on behalf of his protege Sankalp Amonkar, the current Mormugao MLA, in the episode that scalped Milind Naik. 

It isn't the last of this new chapter in Mormugao's story of politics, sleaze, and in Godinho's own words, 'dirty' politics.

‘Chai’ to ‘shakes’ tastes of Mapusa's 

city fathers are changing

With the money flowing into the coffers of Mapusa Municipal Council, the city fathers (and mothers) have decided to spend some of it on themselves. And why not. After all, they are sweating it out to serve the citizens of the town, aren't they?

It is quite another matter that Mapusa's dominant merchants community think otherwise and have in recent days expressed disappointment over unfulfilled promises and poor delivery of civic services by the civic body. Now back to the decision to splurge on themselves by the city-fathers. In Wednesday's council meeting, the councilors decided to give the regular 'chai' a miss and instead opt for ‘milkshakes’ for refreshments, instead.

Meanwhile the hike in taxes and fees for services effected by the civic body is finally paying off and the mollah has begun flowing into its coffers. So what, if the councillors indulge in a little bit of extravagance? Interestingly, it weren't the councillors who were the only ones to enjoy a good ‘shake’ amidst the animated discussions on Wednesday. Journos covering the meeting too got a ‘shake’.

That leaves only the tax-paying Mapxecars high and dry, without a 'shake'. For them, though there is 'Bappa' and his peers at Alankar who are always open to satiate their craving for a good  'shake' albeit at the menu card cost!

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