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National vice-president of the BJP Avinash Rai Khanna and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant garland newly-elected state BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanawde at a party meeting in the city on Sunday. Also seen is outgoing state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar.

We had plan to poach 3 more Oppn MLAs: Vinay

Panaji: Stating that the local team of the Bharatiya Janata Party under newly-elected state BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanawde should work towards getting at least 30 MLAs of the party elected at the 2022 Goa assembly elections, outgoing state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar on Sunday said that he had made all arrangements for the entry of three more Opposition legislators into the BJP, but refrained from doing so fearing backlash from the public as well as party workers.  

“I wanted to exit as the state BJP president with a bang and had planned to take the strength of the BJP MLAs in the state assembly from the current 27 to 30 by bringing in three more Opposition MLAs in my party,” Tendulkar revealed.

He also justified the poaching of 12 Congress MLAs and two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party legislators last year by pointing out, “This particular act had the blessing of national BJP president Amit Shah as well as the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar, and was done to bring about stability to my party’s government.”

Tendulkar was addressing a meeting of the newly-elected office-bearers of mandals and booths of the BJP as well as party workers in the city.

The meeting witnessed the official announcement of Tanawde as the party’s new state president by national BJP vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna in the presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Tendulkar, who is also Rajya Sabha MP from Goa, further stated that he would continue working for the party and has not retired from party’s organisational politics.

Sawant said that before going for a big victory at the 2022 state assembly polls, the BJP should ensure that it sweeps the forthcoming zilla panchayat elections as well as the municipal elections scheduled next year.

Khanna in his speech said the Modi government will never take any decision that would force the countrymen as well as his party members to face embarrassing situation.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act will give relief to all those who are facing persecution on religious basis in the neighbouring countries,” he added.

Khanna condemned the Opposition parties for deliberately creating confusion in the minds of the public over the CAA, by jumbling the meanings of the infiltrators and refugees.

He also stressed on the need to give a facelift to the party in Goa.

The 54-year-old Tanawde in his speech said that he would discuss with the central leadership issues of state importance such as diversion of Mhadei river in Karnataka and ban on mining activities in Goa, and try to find a solution for the same, as early as possible.

The meeting also paid tributes to Swami Vivekanand on his birth anniversary, which is celebrated as the National Youth Day across the country.

Deputy Chief Ministers – Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar and Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavalekar – were also present on the dais.

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