MARGAO: Goa Vikas Party (GVP) chief and Rural Development Agency (RDA) Minister in the BJP-led state government Francisco Pacheco alias Mickky Friday said that GVP is firm about taking action against its Benaulim MLA Caitano D’Silva for his anti-party activities and open declaration of his support to an independent candidate contesting the Zilla Panchayat elections from Benaulim.
“Party members are meeting on Saturday. After the meeting, action will be taken against the MLA. If Caitu does not like the party, he is free to resign and go. But as long as he is there with the party, he has to abide by the party decision, policies and ideologies,” Pacheco said.
It may be recalled that D’Silva had Thursday openly announced his support to independent candidate Hanibel D’Costa even though the GVP has decided to field party candidate in Benaulim along with four other constituencies of Salcete after arriving at a seat-sharing agreement with BJP. D’Silva had also said that he was opposing the government decision of having the ZP elections on party lines.
Differences of opinion seem to have cropped up between Pacheco and D’Silva and the political gap between the two seems to be widening further after Pacheco said that D’Silva is still an immature politician. “Party kept quiet on two earlier occasions, he being an immature politician. He should understand that GVP gave him the podium. I am deeply hurt by his statements. He cannot make adverse comments on the government when the GVP supports it,” Pacheco said.
The minister further said that the GVP workers will not support the move of D’Silva, who has openly announced his support to the independent candidate.
Interestingly, GVP had approved the candidature of D’Costa as a consensus candidate of the party. However, D’Costa filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate.
“We are finalising our candidate today. There is a workers’ meeting going on in Benaulim. We will be fielding our party candidate on Saturday,” Pacheco said.
According to sources, the GVP has been having a tough time in selecting another candidate at the eleventh hour. Saturday is the last day for the candidates to file their nomination to contest the March 18 elections.