The scheduled arrival of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday amidst the frenzied backhand activity as Goa enters the pre-poll phase is expected to tighten the nuts and bolts of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election armour even as speculation is rife over alliance talks with MGP’s Sudin Dhavlikar.
Shah is coming on an official visit -- to lay the foundation stone for a forensic college -- but it is a given that he will hold deliberations with the BJP core committee and party MLAs to fine-tune the strategy for the 2022 assembly elections.
Incidentally, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was a few weeks ago appointed the BJP’s election in-charge for Goa, also arrived in the State on Wednesday. So has the saffron party’s Goa desk in-charge, C T Ravi and the duo have held hectic parleys to prepare the pitch for Shah’s meetings with various party leaders and karyakartas.
“The union home minister Amit Shah is attending a government function in Goa. But since he is in the State he will hold discussions with leaders, karyakartas and party MLAs to access the preparation for 2022 assembly polls,” Fadnavis said.
To a question whether he has broached talks over alliance with MGP leader, Sudhin Dhavalikar, he said no such discussions have taken place. “When we have not met where is the question of holding talks on alliance,” he snapped.
State BJP President, Sadanand Tanavade informed that the union home minister will preside over a karyakartas’ sammelan at the Community Hall in Taleigao and later hold discussions with BJP’s core committee and MLAs on election preparedness. “I cannot make any statement on alliance. Our central observers and the parliamentary board will decide,” Tanavade
Shah is expected to iron out the wrinkles and patch up the cracks in the ruling party’s camp. Wavering BJP leaders will be met face-to-face by the indomitable election manager, according to a top BJP functionary who did not wish to be identified.
Ports Minister Michael Lobo is one such leader being closely watched by the leadership both in Goa and Delhi. The vociferous politician has queered the pitch for the ruling party by staking a claim on Siolim for his sarpanch-wife Delilah.
Meanwhile, the State government is sprucing up the roads and hot-mixing stretches which will be used by Shah during his two-day stay triggering widespread criticism.
A hot-mix carpet was laid along some stretches of Taleigao’s roads connecting the Community Centre over the last two days. Some other areas in Dharbandora and Curti in Ponda taluka were also singled out for such work. Shah is scheduled to visit these areas.
The development gave Opposition parties a handle to criticize the government and they did not disappoint.