Amidst speculation of the purpose for his visit to the national capital last week, Micky Pacheco spoke to Goa Chronicle about various issues pertaining to his political plans.
Micky there was speculation that your trip to the national capital was to bargain with the Congress that you would join them provided they drop the CBI probe into your affairs.
What rubbish. I shall never join the Congress. In fact after the Congress dilly dallied the last time, I met Sonia Gandhi only once to just say thanks for her behavior. I am committed to Sharad Pawar and I went to Delhi to discuss with my party leadership how to build up the party in Goa.
You appear to be pushing a very aggressive line about how many seats the NCP should get at the next elections. Why is that?
Since the last elections, the NCP has grown by leaps and bounds in Goa. Today we are in a position to field candidates in all the 40 constituencies if the need arises. Therefore, my stand is that our strength be recognized and we be treated with respect instead of the condescending attitude the Congress has been showing us. Yes, my demand is that we should get a larger seat quota maybe 50 per cent as our performance even at the last elections was better than the Congress.
But then your party has an alliance with the Congress at the national level, will that be jeopardized for the sake of a small state like Goa?
Therein lies the crux of the matter. If at the municipal and other elections the Congress and NCP can have a friendly fight, why not at Goa’s assembly elections?
How strong is the NCP really in Goa?
According to me, we are in a position to win at least six seats easily and if we do field our candidates, then we can jeopardize the Congress’ chances in another 10 to 12 constituencies.
So is that your bargaining chip?
No. I am not in favour of bargain. All that I want is that our strength be recognized and acknowledged.
You are seen as a man in a terrible hurry. Why this sudden zeal for politics spanning the whole state?
Having won three elections, I think I have matured in politics. Besides, the love and affection I have got from people has made me realize that they look forward to me. Today the entire Goa is looking for something different as they are not very happy with the present administration and I feel that given a choice of good candidates, people will vote for them.
How can you talk about good candidates given the fact that you yourself is embroiled in so many controversies?
All the cases booked against me are politically motivated because the Congress does see me as a threat. Let the investigations be completed and everybody will know the truth. Even in the latest CBI probe, I gave them everything that they asked because I know I am clean. How could I break the laws of USA where I lived for 23 years? I am a law abiding citizen and I have a properly registered business in the USA which is doing pretty well and therefore I have nothing to fear.
It is said that your rise in politics is directly linked to the money you spend.
Money is not everything. Money cannot buy you votes and love of the people at the same time. My people have stood by me even during my worst times because I treat them like family. In fact, for me it is the people who are the leaders. See, I may not be educated, but I have my own principles and ethics and in my public life, I have not wronged the people.
Given the current charges against you, talking about ethics and principles does sound a little odd.
As I have said, the cases against me are politically motivated. As for Nadia, she was a friend and her death is a big shock for me. But tell me. Has anybody seen me with any other woman except for Viola in present times? Is there any photograph of me with Nadia? There is talk about we travelling together to foreign countries. The only time we travelled together was when I went to Singapore for the Tourism Mart in my official capacity and Nadia was in the same flight on a private visit to her brother living there. If I have done anything wrong, let the people decide at the next elections for after all they are the best judge.
Looking at some of the candidates being promoted by you, you are apparently even taking on some of your own party colleagues. Are you planning to launch your own party?
The fact of the matter is that people of Goa want good candidates and I am prepared to give them that. How that is possible, I think it is better to wait and watch.