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BJP pulls out all stops to pacify fractious veterans

PANAJI: Senior state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party met party veterans Laxmikant Parsekar and Francis D’Souza on Wednesday at their respective residences against the backdrop of a meeting convened by Parsekar at the Mapusa residence of D’Souza on Thursday.

The meetings were aimed at pacifying these two dissident members of the BJP, who are claiming that some state party leaders have meted out injustice to them.

Parsekar has been deeply hurt by the recent induction of former Congressman Dayanand Sopte into the BJP, as Sopte had defeated him at the 2017 state assembly elections, and is now slated to contest the bypolls in the same constituency as the BJP candidate.

D’Souza, on the other hand, had been unceremoniously dropped from the state cabinet when he was in the US for treatment.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ on Wednesday night, Parsekar said  that South Goa Member of Parliament Narendra Sawaikar and  treasurer of the state BJP cell Sanjiv Desai had come to meet him on Wednesday evening.

“Although they wanted to speak something important to me, we could not interact as I had Laxmi Pujan at my house and a large number of people were visiting my house for the puja,” the former chief minister stated, informing that he would now be meeting them on Friday.

Parsekar maintained that the meeting of the dissident BJP leaders to be held on  Thursday at D’Souza’s residence will however take place as per the schedule.

“There is an atmosphere of panic among the top state BJP leaders as regards November 8 meeting and they are now introspecting over some of their recent decisions,” he maintained.

The particular meeting is also expected to be attended by Rajendra Arlekar, Dayanand Mandrekar, Mahadev Naik and even Ramesh Tawadkar, who was denied candidature at the 2017 state assembly polls by the BJP.

Calangute MLA and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo told this daily that he would not participate in the meeting.

Lobo has also been unhappy over the decision of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the state BJP unit for not inducting him in the cabinet during the  recent reshuffle.

It is learnt that when the state BJP leaders met D’Souza at his residence, earlier in the day and tried to pacify him, he did not mince words while expressing his resentment at the party.

D’Souza, who is sulking over his ouster from the cabinet, told the visiting BJP leaders that his recent outburst against the party is fully  justified and that his ouster had no logic.

The Mapusa MLA also told them that he would take a decision, which he feels right, after the Thursday’s meeting.

The state BJP unit however maintained that things linked to the issue are being blown out of proportion by the media.

“There is no panic of any kind in the party and the party will convince some of its dissatisfied leaders about a few of the recent decisions,” a senior state BJP functionary said, expressing confidence that the “unhappy leaders” would understand these decisions in due time.

OUR SANKHALI CORRESPONDENT ADDS: Speaker  Dr Pramod Sawant on Wednesday called on the BJP veterans urging them to sort out the differences with the core committee members.

Dr Sawant met Parsekar, Mahadev Naik and Francis D’Souza.

Stating that differences among the senior party leaders will be ironed out in a few days, Dr Sawant said,  “I am confident that our senior leaders will calm themselves down and will work hard for retaining both the parliamentary seats during the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.”

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