After Goa, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will hold a similar conclave at Hazoor Sahib (Maharashtra).
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who floated this proposal, said when the move to hold a 'vichar manthan' at Goa was being debated and discussed, he was initially against it.
"I was against this venue (Goa)," he told reporters. "But after coming to this place and attending this conclave, I must place it on record that I appreciate the decision of SAD president (Sukhbir Badal) of having this manthan here."
While asking his son, deputy CM Sukhbir, "to continue with this type of more meetings" not only in Goa but also in other places, Badal said: "The venue of the next session should be Hazoor Sahib. It should be held for at least four days, instead of just two."
Asked about Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi emerging as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and the SAD's position on this matter, Badal said: "There is some clarity as to who will be the prime ministerial candidate. But nobody can be sure…too early to say anything..."
While the chief minister said the SAD would accept whatever decision the BJP would take about its candidate for the PM's post, the deputy CM said: "I don't want to share any of my views (on Modi as PM candidate). I will, if required, share my views at an internal meeting, not in public."
But Sukhbir hastened to add: "The BJP is the biggest constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), so our view is that they should decide who should lead them."
Sukhbir said the SAD-BJP combine was ready for the Lok Sabha polls and the government's priority areas had been identified during the conclave, without divulging the details. "We are ready to face the Lok Sabha polls even today… we will give you amazing results…," he added.
Master plans for blocks
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said he had decided to get prepared master plans for blocks on the lines of towns.
"Cities have master plans. Similarly, in rural areas, at the block or assembly segment level, there should be a master plan," he said.
"I will ask to have master plans of blocks or assembly segments to be finalised in consultation with public representatives," Badal said.
Goa CM hosts high tea
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who met his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal on Monday evening, played host to the SAD-BJP delegates on Tuesday. The Goa CM hosted high tea to the Punjab leaders, who also visited the Goa Vidhan Sabha for about half an hour during the ongoing session. They were received by the Goa CM, speaker Vishwanath Arlekar and Leader of the Opposition (Congress) Partap Singh Rane.
Later, Badal, accompanied by SAD president Sukhbir Badal and senior leaders of the SAD and BJP, paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sahib Sanqueine.
Looking for photo-op
The word spread among SAD-BJP delegates attending the conclave that pictures of some leaders walking along the beach had appeared in HT. Sensing an opportunity to figure in the newspaper, some delegates hit the beach early on Tuesday and kept waiting for the photojournalist(s). Some delegates even called up HT staff camping in Goa to inform about their location.
All at sea
The SAD-BJP delegates were a disappointed lot after it turned out that their much-awaited dinner deep inside the Arabian Sea in a cruise was called off. The leaders then hit the walking trails, while some hired two-wheelers and decided to explore Goa; the elders enjoyed themselves along the beach. But on Monday, the delegates did have fun in the sea when they went in the cruise. But for some of them, the visit turned out to be horrible. As the boat taking the delegates towards the waiting cruise was shaking due to windy weather, one SAD legislator was freezing in his tracks, while another had to be brought back to the beach. "There were some leaders who were scared so much so that some of them were doing ardas for their safe return from the sea and one MLA had literally covered his face with hands to avoid seeing the sea," said an SAD leader.