Dirty Alliance Politics In Goa
GOA is one such state which always throws up hung assembly where smaller parties and Independents call the shots in government formation. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, with 12 members of his party out of total 20 members of the ruling alliance, had to induct two Deputy Chief Ministers from smaller allies with three members each. Number of BJP ministers is just five out of the 12 legislators from the party, while there are seven ministers from the allies. Even the norm of having maximum 15 per cent ministers out of total strength of lower House is not implemented in ministry formation. Alliance politics thus has become blackmail politics. The best solution to this kind of situation is to elect Chief Minister by secret and compulsory vote of all MLAs through EVMs equipped with VVPAT on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent of the MLAs to ensure direct election. Such an elected Chief Minister may be removed only by no-confidence motion passed using the same process but with compulsion of naming alternate leader in the same motion. MLAs not participating in such an election may retain membership of the House but may lose voting right in the state assembly. Speakers and Deputy Speakers should also be elected by same process.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, DELHI
Jet Airways’ Turbulent Days
JET Airways is seeing turbulent days. The airline has no money to pay its staff, who are now threatening to go on strike. Nearly half of its fleet are grounded and refunds for cancellations are not forthcoming. Government must step in and not allow Jet Airways to go the way of Kingfisher Airlines. Advance bookings must be stopped and full and prompt refunds for cancellations must be given. Infusion of cash into the cash-strapped airline by public sector banks may be permitted only after the chief promoter shows his genuineness by pledging all his shares.
ROBERT CASTELLINO, MUMBAI
Parrikar Treaded Middle Path
THERE are no more words apparently to describe the greatness of our late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who, as President Ram Nath Kovind has rightly described as the “epitome of integrity and dedication in public life” – a great asset indeed to Goa, and the nation in his capacity as a former defence minister. Undoubtedly, Parrikar was a politician with a difference – very accommodating, and uncompromising at times, yet successful in keeping the balance of power, by treading the middle path, which earned him the distinction of being an astute statesman and a respected political leader. However, I am unable to tell the difference between a patriot and a “true patriot” – a term used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to describe Parrikar in his condolence message. Do we also have false patriots like false prophets?
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM
India’s Political Giant From Goa
THERE was a man called Manohar Parrikar, the four-time serving chief minister of Goa who had the greatest grit of bearing all the sufferings peacefully and patiently knowing very well that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer that is incurable. He served his people till the last breath without making them aware of what agony he had been undergoing. Being an IITian, graduating in metallurgical engineering he started his career in this field and switched over to politics but quickly he made it his religion to the very end. He was a true nationalist and an ardent party loyalist who set up the base for the BJP in Goa. People of the state know him as a workaholic which was amply manifested during Goa’s first IFFI in 2004, when almost every day there was some change in Panaji, giving a new twist to the city. Goa was dearest to his heart and he ensured that the state progressed steadily in different fields. Indians should feel proud that it was he who during the BJP national executive meet in Panaji in January 2013 endorsed Narendra Modi’s candidature for prime minister, which became a reality after the NDA stormed back to power in 2014. Though not willing to part away from Goa, he respected Modi’s invitation to serve the nation as the defence minister; he will be remembered for the surgical strikes after the Uri attack that shook Pakistan to the core. He was an extraordinary strategist no doubt but that was resonated when despite the BJP not being the single largest party after the 2017 assembly elections, he mustered numbers from the GFP, the MGP and the three Independents and formed the government in the state. Unfortunately his wrongdoing was reducing the retirement age of teachers to 58 without reason; and despite the fact that the retirement age was restored back to the age of 60 shortly thereafter, he did not think it appropriate to compensate the discriminated teachers. Even worse, he continued with the grants to the Church-run English medium primary schools much against the national policy, creating a rift with his mentor Subhash Velingkar.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES