Tuesday 15 Jun 2021

BJP eyes early poll, central leaders feel pulse in Goa

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 11, 2021, 12:51 AM IST


With the State assembly elections just six-odd months away, BJP National General Secretary (organisation) B L Santosh on Thursday held one-on-one meetings with ministers, MLAs and party office-bearers in Panaji.

Santosh’s two-day visit to the State also comes amid murmurs of the gap in handling of the Covid second surge and the cold war between the chief minister and the health minister.

There were enough indications that the assembly elections could be held at least one or two month before the scheduled time.

The State BJP is, however, with their tails up after putting up a good show in the ZP and municipal council elections held recently.

Sources informed that Santosh asked ministers for their feedback on the functioning of different departments, works undertaken during Covid, problematic situations and the strategy to be adopted for the assembly elections.

Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho told the media that there was no major discussion but definitely “important election-related” talk.

“It is an exercise to strengthen the organisation as well as the government in order to be strong to face the next election,” Godinho said.

According to Ports Minister Michael Lobo, the meeting was preparation for the 2022 assembly polls.

“He (Santosh) inquired about the functioning of the government and the way ahead for the next elections. I have told him winnability is very important while selecting the candidates,” Lobo said.

Sources informed that Health Minister Vishwajit Rane received a rap on the knuckles on the handling of the Covid second wave in the State and the consequent row with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, which put the party on the defensive.

Discussions were also held on the strategy to be adopted about some South Goa MLAs, who joined the BJP but would not want to contest on the BJP ticket in the assembly polls, sources informed.

Santosh along with Goa Observer C T Ravi began meeting the ministers and the State BJP leaders at the Circuit House, Altinho in Panaji, since early Thursday morning.

They met all the 27 BJP MLAs and one Independent MLA, Govind Gaude.

The Delhi leaders first met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and State BJP President Sadanand Tanavde and held discussions on the functioning of the government, Covid management and the vaccination programme besides the party’s organisation vis-à-vis the preparation for the election.

Next up were ministers, MLAs and State party office-bearers and finally with the 11-member BJP core committee at around 8 pm.

Sources informed that the State BJP core committee meeting went up late in the night.

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