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Sawant says Sawaikar got mixed response in mining belt

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday maintained that the voters in the North Goa mining belt had all support for the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Shripad Naik, while mixed reactions were experienced by Narendra Sawaikar from the voters in the South Goa mining belt.

Addressing a press conference at the city BJP headquarters, Sawant said, “However, this is not the only reason for the defeat of the South Goa BJP candidate at the Lok Sabha poll.”

The two-three assembly constituencies under the South Goa Lok Sabha constituency, which had given lead to Sawaikar at the 2014 Lok Sabh election, did not repeat the same, he said.

“For example, the Margao assembly constituency failed to give lead to Sawaikar this time, and therefore, we cannot say  the South Goa mining belt voters were responsible for the defeat of Sawaikar,” he reckoned.

Sawant also brushed off the perception that the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party  to  South Goa Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha was responsible for the defeat of Sawaikar.

“In fact, Sawaikar has taken more than 1,000 vote lead over Sardinha in the Marcaim assembly constituency represented by Sudin Dhavalikar,” he argued.

State BJP president Vinay Tendulkar observed that the voters from the mining belt assembly constituencies in North Goa – Bicholim, Sankhali and Mayem – supported Shripad Naik because the Chief Minister resides in one of these constituencies and in the neighbourhood of the other two.

“The Chief Minister had his impact on the voters of these constituencies,” he opined, noting that however, the BJP lost quite a few votes in the mining belt assembly constituencies in South Goa – Sanvordem, Curchorem and Sanguem – as compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

In his media address, the Chief Minister said that reshuffle of his cabinet and allotment of additional portfolios to the cabinet ministers are on cards, but the same would take some time.

He said the monsoon session of the state legislative assembly will have to be convened before July 31, as the budget had sought a vote-on-account till July 31.

“Although the date has not been finalised, the House will meet sometime in July,” he added, informing that the date will be decided after consulting his colleagues in the House.

“We will also elect a new Speaker after carrying out necessary deliberations,” the Chief Minister said.

Sawant stated that there are a few schemes of the central government, which could not be implemented in Goa for past three years.

“We will now co-ordinate with the Centre and implement those scheme here, for the benefit of Goans,” he mentioned.

Sawant also revealed that the Griha Aadhar scheme for the Goan housewives, which was stopped for some time due to technical reason, would be restarted from June and the money under the scheme, due for last two months would be received by the beneficiaries.

He also said  the forms pertaining to this scheme would be made available to the applicants from the end of June 2019. 

Replying to a question as to whether some of the legislators of other political parties are on way to the BJP, Sawant said that as of now his government is stable.

Answering another question as regards the MGP still not withdrawing its support to the BJP, the Chief Minister said  the MGP support still exists for the BJP on paper, and it is up to the party to decide whether this support is to be continued or withdrawn.

When asked if the BJP – as per one of the issues in its election campaign – would make efforts to protect city women from new Panaji legislator Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, the Chief Minister said that some speeches are only restricted to the election campaign, while the precautionary measures are to be taken by the administration.

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