Sunday , 19 May 2019


Paying BJP Back In Its Own Coin

RUSTIC charm, straight ways and simple living have characterised Janata Dal-S supremo H D Deve Gowda.  Former prime minister’s mesmerising hold over certain traditional Vokkaliga pockets of Karnataka is unmatched.  The party tally of 38 seats in the assembly elections is an impressive performance by any stretch considering the intricacies of modern-day politics.  His son and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy has taken a leaf out of senior Gowda.  However, the JD-S campaign in the elections was totally focused on an anti-Congress plank; the BJP bashing was hardly evident throughout the campaign.  In fact, one thought that Deve Gowda had inched closer towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His words and action exemplified this though not in as many words. Modi, in his rallies, was all praise for Gowda sending the social media agog with speculations.   Now, by instantly accepting the Congress support to form the state government, the wily Gowda seems to have outfoxed the BJP.  The only fathomable reason for Gowda nodding to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s offer appears to be his intense desire to see his son as chief minister for the second time. The JD-S was in coalition with the Congress from 2004 to 2006, and also had a power-sharing equation with the BJP after the resignation of the then Congress chief minister Dharam Singh in 2006.



Welcome Relief To Tourists

THE pet peeve of air travellers flying to Goa is the high fares they have to pay to travel to Calangute and other beaches in North Goa. The recently introduced Kadamba AC bus service from the Dabolim airport and to Calangute comes as a welcome relief to these air travellers. A trip from the airport to Calangute in the spacious AC bus took me an hour and five minutes and is reasonably priced at Rs 150 per head. The service is good and caters to most of the arrivals and departures from the airport. However, the occupancy from Calangute is currently low because of poor awareness.  I would like to make the following suggestions: the bus schedule may be displayed at the Calangute football ground facing the road leading to the beach.  Also a glow signboard should be put up at the Calangute beach promenade as this is the area that receives the highest tourist footfalls in the state. Subject to increase in occupancy the frequency of the services may be increased.



A Friend, Not Usurper

There has been hue and cry against Centre’s ‘adopt a heritage’ scheme. The scheme is misunderstood, hence calls for some clarifications for the general public.  Explaining the initiative, the website of the Union culture ministry calls for applications from corporates and other entities to be ‘monument mitra’ or a friend of the heritage monument. Under the scheme, corporates and other entities interested in the scheme will be allowed to enhance basic and advanced amenities and look after the operations and the maintenance of the amenities.  The responsibility of maintaining, repairing and managing the heritage monuments rests with the ASI or the archaeology and archives department as may be the case. This initiative is open for anyone for adoption. The entity that is awarded the monuments and other sites under the scheme has to implement the project by utilising their CSR budgets and allocations.



The Rise Of A Foot Soldier

WITH a new president at the helm, the state unit of the Congress has regained its voice. A choice that should stand the party in good stead, Girish Raya Chodankar brings to the Congress what his bête noire in Goa’s politics has given the present ruling coalition – a feeling of unity in diverse conditions! The Youth Congress leader who mainly stayed in the periphery of Congress politics in the state for about three decades suddenly finds himself pushed into the forefront of it. It has been a long march for the loyal foot-soldier who has so far maintained a very low profile. At a time when the nation is belittling the obstinacy of some grand old patriarchs of Indian politics to step down gracefully and make way for the youngsters to don the mantle of leadership in the country, the gesture by the Congress in Goa to entrust the stewardship of the party to a young leader does come as a whiff of fresh air. Undeterred by the presence of stalwarts in the party, the new GPCC chief has set about reviving the fortunes of the party. Faced with a daunting task, his tasks are clearly earmarked for him. Restructuring of a disjointed organization that Congress has been reduced to in Goa will no doubt assume prime importance for him. Rumours of an exodus of a few more ‘prominent’ members into the saffron fold are not helping matters either! But what has been encouraging is that the Congress seems to have come out of hibernation to voice its concerns over various ‘inconsistencies’ that have plagued the functioning of the government of the day. Nailing the state government over its monumental lie over the Union ministry’s ‘adopt a heritage’ scheme in the state, it was as if the once docile ‘Opposition’ was baring its teeth ready to take on the BJP ensemble over its dominant ways. However, nothing is more refreshing than the newfound belief and confidence among party members that the Congress can yet form the government in the state were such a situation to present itself in the immediate future. ‘Achche din’ for the Congress in Goa all over again!