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Sena backs Satya Pal Malik’s corruption charges against Goa BJP Govt. ahead of Assembly election

Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik. File   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

The Shiv Sena cranked up the pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government in Goa ahead of the Assembly election after the party backed Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik’s charges that he had allegedly witnessed rampant corruption within the Goa Government when he was its erstwhile Governor.

In a television interview, Mr. Malik, who had served as Goa’s Governor from November 2019 to August 2020, controversially alleged that he witnessed at first hand “corruption in everything the Goa Government was handling”, triggering off Opposition demands for Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's resignation.

The Shiv Sena, too, has joined the chorus by launching a blistering attack on Mr. Sawant and his BJP Government through an editorial in the party's mouthpiece Saamna.

While lauding the Meghalaya Governor as “an outspoken man”, the Sena lashed out at the BJP’s so-called model of governance, accusing that the Goa Chief Minister and his party had become the “slaves of casino owners.”

‘Public anger’

“There is intense public anger against the Government. The COVID-19 pandemic has not been handled properly by the BJP, with unemployment rising to alarming levels… Instead of trying to reduce the drug menace around Goa, it is only getting stronger. The BJP Government in Goa has become a slave to casino owners,” said the editorial, chastising the Government for the increasing law-and-order problems.

Claiming that the verdant State was descending into a “quicksand of corruption and mismanagement”, the Sena warned of increasing numbers of Goan youth becoming addicted to drugs and gambling.

“The situation in Goa is so dire that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is now claiming that every village in the State will be self-sufficient in a hopeless bid to mask the reality. He also tried an experiment called 'Government at Your Doorstep' which has failed,” said the Sena, remarking that Mr. Sawant was merely doing various political stunts to keep the lid on the rampant corruption plaguing the State.

However, Mr. Malik’s allegations had blown off that lid, said the editorial, adding that the former Goa Governor’s tell-all had brought the State’s dire plight in sharp relief.

“Mr. Malik has blamed the BJP Government in Goa for failing on several counts — from handling the COVID-19 situation to its shoddy implementation of public welfare schemes. It is clear that the BJP will reject Malik's allegations. But there is no reason to doubt his statements,” said the editorial.

The Sena is looking to gain a foothold in the State in the Assembly election slated to be held in February next year.

Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut, who is also the Saamna’s Executive Editor, had earlier announced that his party would be fielding candidates on 20-25 seats and that the Sena was looking at an alliance akin to the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' (MVA) coalition Government in Maharashtra.

In the 2017 Assembly election, the Sena had attempted to take on the BJP in Goa by forging an alliance with a local party floated by ousted Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Subhash Velingkar. However, the Sena’s performance had been abysmal at the time, with the party losing heavily in all the three seats (Saligao, Cuncolim and Mormugao) it contested, managing a paltry vote share of less than 2%.

This time, with Uddhav Thackeray installed as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister and the Sena winning big in the Konkan region during the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election, the party has been looking to expand south of the Konkan into Goa.

Last month, in another Saamna editorial, the Sena had stridently criticised Mr. Sawant’s Government while dubbing the BJP “as the real beef party in the State” and accusing it of having forsaken ‘Hindutva’ — a frequent allegation incidentally made by the BJP against the Sena in Maharashtra after the latter rejected an alliance with it to form the MVA Government with the ideologically opposed Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 6:08:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sena-backs-satya-pal-maliks-corruption-charges-against-goa-bjp-govt-ahead-of-assembly-election/article37185494.ece

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