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Will have to look through telescope to find any opposition, says Goa CM Parrikar

Contesting elections from Panaji, which has successfully elected him as an MLA since 1994, Manohar Parrikar says there is no contest from the opposition.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 23:31 IST
Nida Khan
Nida Khan
Hindustan Times, Panaji
Manohar Parrikar,Goa,Goa BJP
Goa CM Manohar Parrikar is now campaigning for the assembly bypolls.(PTI)

Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar appears to have adapted to his role as Goa’s chief minister as the focus of his speeches has shifted from surgical strikes and counter-terrorism to promising more jobs and a better drainage system.

Contesting elections from Panaji, which has successfully elected him as an MLA since 1994, Parrikar is leaving no stone unturned to win the bypolls to the Panaji and Valpoi seats.

He begins his campaign with a visit to a public spot. Self-help groups and student programmes are the next priority, while evenings are dedicated to canvassing.

“I promise to give Panaji a decongested look by 2020. The drainage issues will be worked upon and a better transportation system will be implied,” said Parrikar on Saturday.

Parrikar’s campaign, however, is not without its share of detractors. “For 25 years he was the MLA of Panaji and he has not done much to benefit us in any way. Forget about giving laptops to students ...the town lacks basic infrastructure,” said Panaji resident Chandan Shetye .

Desecration of crosses and a raging debate over beef ban have also put the BJP in a spot. A large section however felt there was hardly any competition.

“The Congress candidate, Girish Chodankar, is an outsider… It doesn’t make sense to vote for him when we know that he can never understand the woes of Panjimites,” said local resident Joyce.

Parrikar too exuded confidence, stating: “There is no opposition. I will have to look through a telescope to find one,” he said.

Meanwhile, Goa Congress vice president Akbar Mulla on Sunday joined the Goa Forward Party (GFP) alleging that he felt “betrayed” by the Congress.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 23:31 IST