Day 1: Vijai Shoots ‘Paper Bullets’; Reginald Must Learn to ‘Shoot’

If there was one humorous aspect of the question hour on Day One of the Goa Assembly session that truly shows the ineptitude of the Congress MLA Alexio Reginald Lourenco (though his intentions appear to be honorable), is in the manner in which his questioned were framed regarding the expenses incurred on ‘appointing advocates’. While in reality it was a very good question, if he framed the question in manner taking into considerations all claims to payment made by the advocates hired by the Goa government and not just how much was already paid, it would have had an impact; a point which was pointed out by the Chief Minister during his rebuttal, who cleverly deflected the question saying that we have given you a reply as per the question asked. So when Reginald asked about the professional fees of a particular advocate; CM casually replied,”the department may have not got a bill yet or bill may have been received but no payment made yet”.

Such errors coming from Reginald is expected because he is known not to thoroughly study the subjects and rely on his argumentative prowess to skewer an otherwise good discussion. In fact it is surprising that even though he spends so much time with a very eloquent and shrewd MLA Vijai Sardesai, he has managed to learn nothing.

Sardesai on the other hand recuperating (after a crushing defeat at the Lok Sabha 2014 of his backed candidate wherein he could not even secure a majority for Congress South Goa candidate from his own Fatorda constituency) with a wonderful holiday along with his family in some exotic European locales; decided to come to Assembly session with all guns blazing on issues that he raised time-again before, mostly on ‘paper’.

But unfortunately it appeared that the guns he was shooting from contained ‘blank’ bullets or should I dare say ‘paper bullets’. His continuous and deliberate focus of Pramod Muthalik to create a fear psychosis in the minds of the people of Goa; even though the government in particular the Chief Minister Parrikar has himself put his foot-down on Muthalik’s issue at the Centre-stage when Muthalik’s confirmed entry into BJP was stopped is clear sign of mischief and an intent to create communal discord. It is surprising that such a person had no qualms associating with another fundamental organization from the Muslim community – Popular Front of India (PFI), who may I add are already in Goa and are slowly showing their fanatical colors.

However, one of the most hilarious aspect of his moot point was his reference to ’47 Goans taking Portuguese passports everyday and leaving Goa’, attributing the insecurity the people have about their future prospects in Goa (especially minorities) to the anti-secular BJP government. If however, Sardesai spent more time assessing the actual reasons for Goans opting for Portuguese passports it would have nothing to do with BJP or Congress, it would have more to do about being an Indian or a Portuguese and its benefits in international countries. In fact during the Congress tenure the numbers were close to 70 Goans per day.

Parrikar on the other hand comes to these Assembly sessions well-armored and prepared. He is technically sound, so sound that even when he is cornered, he will rely on a technicality to get him out of the corner. Tackling Parrikar will not be an easy task for Sardesai though I am sure that the Fatorda MLA will manage to get good photo-ops in most newspapers, and in eventuality that is what he craves.

Reginald on the other hand would do himself and the people of Goa a favor, if he studied his subject and came to the assembly to be constructive and not destructive. In fact Reginald should also learn some articulation of thoughts from Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho, who appears to always have a broader vision to his discussion even though he is in the Opposition. His discussion on tourism and its needs to evolve, shows that he has a constructive thought process.

Dilip Parulekar of the BJP who happens to be the Toursim Minister of Goa like Reginald of the Congress are people who come to the Assembly session with arrogance and with the intent to pick a fight. His defense on the Rs 13 crore spent on tourism-related junkets was downright incoherent. One wonders time and again what compulsion does Parrikar have to keep this absolute brainless individual on tourism affairs as tourism minister, when a gem like Calangute MLA Michael Lobo is kept waiting.

It is nice to see Pratapsingh Rane talk finally a little bit, one wondered why this statesman was in hibernation. However, the sad part about this Congress leader is that because he is not in his prime, his words though intelligent carry no impact. In fact some of his own MLAs like Madkaikar & Kavelekar would be sniggering behind his back as he spoke.

Tomorrow another day…

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