Are Vijai Sardesai and Manohar Parrikar heading for splitsville, as BJP-GFP honeymoon is now officially over?
BY FLYNN REMEDIOS | Panaji: What both Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar and his coalition partner from the Goa Forward Party, Vijai Sardesai will never tell you – is the fact that they are both kinda “fed up” of each other.
While they may both put on a brave and smiling facade before the TV cameras and demonstrate their camaraderie for the flash bulbs, the simmering pressure below is surface is now slowly oozing out of the miniature cracks in the outer crust of the government.
While Vijai who is under great pressure from the people of Goa including his own core team, his “good friends” from the Congress and the people of Fatorda, as well as the Goan press to vociferously speak up against issues like the cattle trade issue (read indirect beef ban) or the more recent Sadhvi Saraswati-Hindu Rashtra utterances, Parrikar on the other hand is getting more and more “fed-up” of his coalition partner’s demands.
While other BJP or MGP leaders may not have been very demanding in the past, Vijai Sardesai is a ‘totally different nut to crack’ for Parrikar, says a ‘close friend’ of Sardesai from the Congress.
To add to this ‘pressure’ from Vijai and the GFP, Parrikar is also facing a lot of silent criticism from within his own party as several BJP leaders feel sidelined and ignored in the effort to accommodate the “guests” Vijai and his 2 MLAs
A BJP leader close to Parrikar from North Goa, said that several leaders within the party are ‘not very happy’ with the turn of events over the last 2 months.
While Vijai is still seen and expected to be the voice of the Goan minorities in the Government – as many Catholics had supported Sardesai and his Goa Forward Party, BJP leaders are becoming more and more uneasy with Vijai’s bulldozing of the government and CM on various issues, day in and day out.
Catholic and Muslim supporters of Vijai are constantly needling him to speak up on issues and happenings in Goa and the rest of the country. As his conscience possibly keeps pricking him for joining the BJP after thoroughly thrashing them in the run up to the elections, he tries to balance both – his relationship with the BJP and Parrikar on one hand and his supporters on the other.
To keep the government together – and the looming Congress threat from becoming a reality, Parrikar has to perpetually keep the GFP, its cadre and Vijai in ‘good spirits’, to the chagrin of BJP leaders, some of whom have been with the party for decades.
Sources say some Congress leaders have been in secret parleys with Vijai Sardesai and also with Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane and are trying to get the ‘prodigal sons’ of Goa back to the original flock.
A senior and vocal Congress leader from South Goa, told IndiaScribes.com on condition of anonymity that both Vishwajit and Vijai ‘will come back (to the Congress) if the situation is right. “It’s just the GPCC top guard. Once there is a change in the top management of the Congress – read the Goa Congress Pradesh Committee or GPCC President, both these prodigal sons will come back and the Congress can possibly form the government in Goa.
The pressure is surely there and Parrikar is fully aware of it.
Like they say, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Parrikar is living on borrowed time and will have to face the people within two months. Till then he can breathe easy, provided he manages to keep Vijai and his GFP boys both in North and South Goa occupied and ‘happy’