By Arvind Malguri
New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said told IANS that people have trust in double-engine government and it will be a tough fight in the ensuing elections. Goa will vote on February 14.
here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. Do you think your government will come back to power?
A. Yes, I am not saying this, but the entire people of Goa are saying this. There was never so much development in Goa, as it has happened in the BJP government, so everyone wants a BJP government.
Q. Is the competition tough?
A. Yes, the competition is tough. Yet we are confident that we will form the government. We are taking our achievements of 10 years to the public. On the basis of that, once again the BJP government will be formed in the state.
Q. The opposition has many issues for elections, like inflation, unemployment, issues related to development of Goa, what issues do you have on which you are contesting in Goa?
A. The development in Goa is a role model for other states. We are going to the people on infrastructure development and human index development, we are telling them to look at the infrastructure of Goa before 2012, and what is now. Look at the human index development before 2012, and see now. We are taking forward the concept of self-reliant India program started by PM Modi during Covid and telling people that Goa can become self-reliant too. In the 68th Year of Liberation of Goa, we reached out to people, and have shown them what development is all about.
Q. Who is the biggest challenger -- AAP, Trinamool Congress, or the Congress?
A. I think Aam Aadmi Party has been working here for the last 5 years. And the candidates who will contest the polls have reached out to people in rural areas also.
Q. Don't you consider Trinamool as a challenger?
A. I think their fight is with the Congress.
Q. As soon as you enter Goa, posters of Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee are visible everywhere. Is BJP lagging behind in this poster war?
A. They are only in the posters, we are working on the ground. We work among people, so we do not consider it appropriate to be in posters, because we live among people, in their mind, in their heart.
Q. Are you ready for the digital campaign that the Election Commission has asked this time?
A. Yes absolutely, and I welcome the statement of the Election Commission, that in this situation, digital campaigning is the only option and I think this digital campaign will help us reach out to the youth by connecting PM Modi's concept of Nav Bharat Nirman.
Q. After several leaders joined BJP, do you think ticket distribution is a real challenge?
A. Yes, of course, BJP is the biggest party, people have come from other parties. We are taking all of them together, and everyone knows that the next government will be of the BJP, and the Central Parlimentary Board decides on tickets. Because of our country first, state first, people first, we all work together. It doesn't matter who gets ticket.
Q. There is a lot of cross over of leaders in Goa, from one party to another, there is also pressure on you to keep the party united. Are you having trouble managing all this?
A. There is absolutely no problem. This time we are telling people that they should vote to form the government, don't vote for MLA only, because BJP is forming the government. That's why your vote is for the government, your vote is for development, your vote is for self-reliant Goa, your vote is for BJP. That's why this time everyone is voting for Modi ji.
Q. In this pandemic, you will have to manage both Covid situation and elections. How will you do that?
A. I cannot praise myself, but I thank PM Modi for how he has managed everything during the pandemic.
Q. You don't think anti incumbency factor can get you into trouble?
A. No, anti-incumbency is for those who do not work. A lot of work has been done in Goa, and the double engine government has done a phenomenal job. Because of which other parties will not be seen in Goa far and wide.