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Formalin politics throws light on Junior Rane’s intent to mess around on Fatorda grounds

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1)    Vijai Sardesai has cold shouldered Satarri upstart for using “formalin raid’, to take shine off new SGPDA market

2)    TCP Minister has told CM Parrikar, to keep Vishwajeet Rane away from interfering in Fatorda

3)    Rane filling posts in the upcoming new district hospital with Valpoi people a bone of contention

4)    Differences even with the Health Misters’ choice of colour for the new hospital’s facade

Team Spotlight

Panjim: The jury may be out on whether there was formalin in the fish tested in Margao, but there is absolutely no doubt that formalin politics played by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has made the political waters of Fatroda murky.

According to sources even within the BJP, leave alone the Goa Forward Party, the rapid fire raid, and quick but conflicting conclusions on the presence of formalin in the fish at Fatorda, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane appeared to have upped the ante, to take the shine off the new swank SGPDA market, which opened like a box office hit even drawing officials from the BMC (Mumbais Municipal body), in the land of Bollywood.

Vishwajit Rane, insiders confirm, was quick to use his influence as Health and FDA minster to get brownie points over the formalin raid, where his department got inflicted with the foot in the mouth disease, first “confirming” the presence of formalin and then saying it was within “permissible limits”. The natural public fallout and backlash, much of it directed, interestingly not at the FDA, but at Sardesai. Junior Rane did not let off. After Chief Minister   Manohar Parrikar banned the import of fish on July 18, the Health Minister demanded that even exports should be banned and current ban should be made permanent.

This is when Sardesai came out and said that FDA should take control of wholesale fish market at Fatorda and it should be shifted out of the town, preferably in the place owned by the FDA department.

When contacted by The Goa Spotlight, Sardesai refused to comment in detail on whether and why things are wrong between him and Junior Rane. But he said that the statement about “permissible limits” was the reason why panic was created on the issue of formalin.

“On the issue of formalin, the talk of of permissible limits served to create panic and this panic is not good for the state,” he said. “But the FDA minister is completely empowered to do everything he can so that people can get safe food and he should do that,” Sardesai said.

The Goa Spotlight while checking on differences between both the ministers also came to know of another piquant incident which clearly shows how junior Rane is attempting his one upmanship in Fatorda.

The upcoming District Hospital at Fatorda is taking shape and is likely to be a reality soon. Rane in the past wanted to paint the hospital yellow for which Sardesai had objected. The Fatorda MLA had said that the hospital should have some sober colour, but Rane, after getting into loggerheads with Sardesai over the formalin issue, approved another deep blue colour (like the Customs House) for the project. That was Rane’s way of scoring a point against Sardesai. Sardesai, as his wont, has refused to take this lying down and sent a message both to the Chief Minister and Rane not to cross lines and involve him on decision making on projects that are in his constituency

And if that is not enough, Sardesai got a rude shock when he realized that during the recruitment for upcoming District hospital at Fatorda, majority of the staff have been selected from Valpoi constituency. This too has upset him.

Rane has already filled Goa medical College and Hospital with people from Valpoi. It is certainly not acceptable for Sardesai to have a majority of staff from Valpoi in this hospital as South Goa people have huge expectations of employment generation from this project.

The cold war continues brew between both the ministers, with the Health Minister attempting to broker peace, sensing Sardesai’s belligerent reaction to his (Rane’s) misdemeanours.

It’s clear that Vishwajit Rane is trying to muscle himself into a position of influence, especially with Chief Minister Parrikar going away to the USA for a medical checkup. It is learnt that the Junior Rane is even pitching for a slot in the Cabinet Advisory Committee which may be set up again in the Chief Minister’s absence. But if Sardesai has his way, this attempted entry will be well and truly blocked.

Watch this space for further updates on the health of the Rane-Sardesai relationship.

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Leads & Specials

Everyone in the Goa BJP will go home except Rajya Sabha member Vinay Tendulkar- Parsekar

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Not a single BJP karyakarta will support Sopte in Mandrem; the BJP is losing support of the bhandaris and Marathas too, says former CM Lakshmikant Parsekar

Team Spotlight

Mandrem: In a tone tinged with emotion and hurt former Goa Chief Minister, and a senior member of the BJP’s core committee said that if the party continues in this manner, then “everyone (all MLAs) will have to go home”. He sarcastically said that the only one who will be present in a legislative space would be BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar, who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha for 6 years.

Commenting on the larger issues plaguing the party, the former Chief Minister remarked that important sections of the population like the OBCs including the bhandaris and marathas are moving away from the BJP. The support base is shrinking. There is no doubt. If things go on in this manner, then everyone will go home, except Vinay Tendulkar” ( elected to the Rajya Sabha)

It is clear that it’s a no holds barred battle between a section of the veteran leadership in the BJP and party president Vinay Tendulkar. Speaking toThe Goa Spotlight,  Mr Parsekar said “Earlier Vinay used to say that he would consult ‘bhai’ before taking any decision. Now ‘bhai’ is not accessible and hence Vinay thinks he can take any decision that he wants”

Meanwhile the by-elections to the Mandrem constituency is due, after Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte resigned to join the BJP and will be the BJP candidate in Mandrem and Parsekar is clear that the local BJP unit will not be supporting him “Sopte said 80% of the BJP’s karyakartas are with him. He is lying. Zero percent are with him. There is not a single BJP worker who is with Sopte”. Elaborating further, he said that the party may have taken a decision to reduce the strength of the Congress and hence get Sopte to resign but they should have consulted local workers and leaders ( like him) before deciding to field him from Mandrem. “Sopte may have been lured to join the BJP but the party should have understood the ground reality of fielding him from Mandrem”, Parsekar quipped

Parsekar’s remarks assume political significance for three reasons a) It confirms that Sopte will not be able to hit the political ground in Mandrem, running and will face opposition not just from the Congress but the local BJP organization. b) Lakshmikant Parsekar is holding his own political cards to his chest and the possibility of him contesting as an independent after resigning from the party, with the support of local BJP workers, cannot be ruled out and c) Parsekar’s vociferous reaction may spark off a chain reaction among senior BJP leaders who will take on the Parrikar and Tendulkar led party leadership, with Francis D Souza already stating that he may be raided for speaking against the party.

Clearly in an attempt to shore up the party’s numbers in the Assembly, both Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar,  either by design or bad politics, may have caused far reaching damage to the party, the results of which will be clear, in the next round of elections.

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‘Toilet’ is not a ‘prem katha’ in Goa

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Goa is one of India’s worst states in achieving the Open Defecation Free promise

TEAM SPOTLIGHT

GOA: As the deadline of December 19, 2018 is fast approaching, Goa has to achieve a milestone to rank on the national chart of being free from Open Defecation (ODF). The coastal State, having the lowest population of only 15 lakhs, tops the embarrassing chart of having the lowest ODF coverage in India. With total coverage of only 5.87 percent, the State is the only one in the country where the success rate is less than 10 percent.

 

What is humiliating is that States like Bihar, Odisha and Tripura are above Goa, where not a single village has been declared as total verified ODF. After being on top of the national chart on various fronts like tourism, Smart City Mission, literacy, etc, the State is far from achieving   ODF.

As per 2011 census, the State has nearly 20 percent households without toilet facility. There are also many community toilet facilities that are lacking in the State, which is known as international tourism destination on world map.

As a rough estimate, the government is of the view that it requires at least 65,000 bio-digester toilets, for which Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has already invited tender.

Kind of toilets to be provided

The toilets, costing Rs 40,000-Rs 45,000 per set, are fitted with bio-digester. Bio-digester toilet technology, perfected by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), is an eco-friendly and maintenance-free system to manage human waste, which is being put to use under the Swachh Bharat Mission movement.

Scheme drafted by State Government 

Department of Urban Development has drafted a scheme for supply and installation of Bio-Digester Toilet in the State.  “If Goa is to achieve the goal of ODF by the year 2018, then it is essential that the construction of toilets is taken up on a mission mode by providing necessary financial assistance to the poor who are without an Individual Household Latrine (IHHL),” Secretary Urban Development R Menaka said.

Under the scheme, any household not having an individual sanitary toilet will be eligible on submission of documents like Aadhar card and an undertaking that he or she will pay the beneficiary share for the supply and installation of the Bio-Digester toilet in his household.

“No occupant of the household shall resort to open defecation and shall use toilet only for the purpose it is designed for.  The occupant will have to pay the entire cost of supply and installation of Bio-digester toilet to government in case of the toilet being not utilized or any occupants of the household resorting to open defecation,” Menaka said.

Urban development has made it mandatory for Certificate from Municipal Council/ /Corporation/Panchayat stating that the household does not have individual household latrine.

The department of urban development and panchayat will finalize the list of eligible applicants under the scheme and communicate the same to the Implementing Agency- GWMC.

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Parrikar returns home, on a stretcher & in an ambulance

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  1. Parrikar travelled in an ambulance to his home at Dona Paula.
  2. GMC has set up medical facility at his personal residence
  3. Party men and coalition partners were clueless over  his early arrival.

Team Spotlight

GOA: The usual bonhomie that surrounds arrival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar when arrives back in the State was missing on Sunday, when the BJP leader was moved from AIIMS to Goa on a stretcher and travelled through ambulances.

Parrikar was flown to Goa in a special flight on Sunday afternoon. Two Ambulances equipped with the doctors was part of his carcade that went to receive him at INS Hansa base. The former union defence minister travelled on a stretcher to his home.

India’s news agency Press Trust of India in its report from New Delhi had said that Parrikar’s health had deteriorated at AIIMS last night after which he was shifted to Intensive Care Unit.

He was discharged from the hospital and then flown to Goa.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that Goa Medical College and Hospital has set up facility at Parrikar’s residence at Dona Paula, where his medical needs would be looked after.

The arrival of Parrikar was sudden and unexpected. Rane was seen supervising the arrangements by calling special meeting of the GMC officials last night.

 

But what is shocking for his party members and coalition partners is unexpected arrival from AIIMS where he had met BJP Core Committee and coalition partners on Friday.

“Parrikar has been always commanding, whatever he decides for himself, he has been deciding. He never listens to his family or his close ones,” BJP Legislator and State Power Minister Cabral told reporters at the airport where he had come to receive Parrikar.

Unlike last two times when he had arrived from the USA wherein he had walked out of the Airport, this time, the ambulance was taken near the special flight to pick him up.

“We hope that he recovers fast and miracle happens. I think it must be his personal decision that he wants to come back to Goa. When I met him last time, he spoke well. It must be his decision to come to Goa,” Cabral said.

 Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik who had met Parrikar along with Cabral at AIIMS on Friday said that he could not believe the news reports that Parrikar was coming back.

“I had met him day before yesterday. I got the news that he is coming back but I can’t believe that he is returning. His health is improving and he was expected stay at AIIMS for few more days,” Naik said talking to reporters in Panaji on Sunday morning at the sidelines of a function.

“It is okay if he takes treatment in Goa but he needs to take rest,” Naik said.

State Civil Supplies Minister and Independent MLA Govind Gawade said that Parrikar should have stayed back at AIIMS for some time and fully recovered before coming back to Goa.

“But we welcome him back. Goa was missing its leader,” he said.

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