By Arvind Malguri
New Delhi, January 10 (IANS): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told IANS people have confidence in a dual-engine government and that it would be an uphill battle in the elections that follow. Goa will vote on February 14.
here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. Do you think your government will come back to power?
A. Yes, I am not saying it, but all the people of Goa are saying it. There has never been as much development in Goa as has happened in the BJP government, so everyone wants a BJP government.
Q. Is the competition fierce?
A. Yes, the competition is tough. Yet we are confident that we will form the government. We are presenting our 10-year accomplishments to the public. On this basis, the BJP government will again be formed in the state.
Q. The opposition has many issues for elections like inflation, unemployment, development issues in Goa, what issues do you have that you are disputing about in Goa?
A. Development in Goa is a model for other states. We are going to see people on infrastructure development and human index development, we tell them to look at Goa infrastructure before 2012 and what it is now. Look at the development of the Human Index before 2012, and see now. We are pushing forward the concept of a stand-alone Indian program started by PM Modi during Covid and telling people that Goa can become self-sufficient too. In the 68th year of Goa’s liberation, we have reached out to people and shown them what development is all about.
Q. Who is the biggest challenger – AAP, Trinamool Congress or Congress?
A. I think the Aam Aadmi party has been working here for 5 years. And the candidates who will run for the polls have also reached out to people in rural areas.
Q. Don’t you see Trinamool as a challenger?
A. I think their fight is with Congress.
Q. As soon as you enter Goa, posters of Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee are visible everywhere. Is the BJP lagging behind in this poster war?
A. They are only on the posters. We are working in the field. We work among people, so we don’t consider it appropriate to be on posters, because we live among people, in their minds, in their hearts.
Q. Are you ready for the digital campaign that the Election Commission has requested this time?
A. Yes absolutely, and I welcome the statement of the Election Commission, that in this situation, digital campaign is the only option and I believe that this digital campaign will help us reach young people by connecting the concept of Nav Bharat Nirman of PM Modi.
Q. After several leaders have joined the BJP, do you think the distribution of tickets is a real challenge?
A. Yes, of course the BJP is the biggest party, people come from other parties. We take them all together, and everyone knows that the next government will be that of the BJP, and the Central Parliamentary Council decides the tickets. Because of our country first, the state first, people first, we all work together. It doesn’t matter who gets the ticket.
Q. There are a lot of crossroads of leaders in Goa from party to party, there is also pressure on you to keep the party united. Are you having trouble dealing with all of this?
A. There is absolutely no problem. This time we are telling people they should vote to form government, don’t vote just for MPs because BJP is government. This is why your vote is for government, your vote for development, your vote for self-reliance Goa, your vote for BJP. This is why this time everyone is voting for Modi ji.
Q. In this pandemic, you will have to manage both the Covid situation and the elections. How will you do this?
A. I cannot congratulate myself, but I thank Prime Minister Modi for the way he handled everything during the pandemic.
Q. Don’t you think the anti-titular factor can get you in trouble?
A. No, the anti-operation is for those who are not working. A lot of work has been done in Goa, and the twin-engine government has done a phenomenal job. Due to which other parts of Goa will not be seen from afar.