In a major political development, Babush Monserrate has joined the Goa Forward Party (GFP) today. Monserrate had shown keen interest on fighting the Panaji by-poll against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on a Congress ticket. GFP leader Vijay Sardesai stated Babush’s entry will strengthen the party in North Goa and also stabilise the Manohar Parrikar-led government in the state. GFP currently has three MLAs in the state assembly.
“The Goa Forward family is very happy to welcome my friend Babush monserrate in the Goa Forward Party,” said Vijay Sardesai.
Sardesai stated that Moserrate joining the GFP means an end to attempts by the Congress towards destabilising the Bhartiya Janata Party-led government in the state. He further mentioned that this indirectly means we have declared Parrikar to be the Panaji MLA and enjoys the support of its ally. This is also an attempt to strengthen the GFP.
Monserrate praised Sardesai and the GFP for its initiatives. “I have joined the Goa Forward party for a very simple reason, during the last assembly term, I have seen the way Vijai was single-handedly fighting as the Opposition with the government. At the same time whatever Vijay has fought in the last assembly election, he is trying to realise the dreams of Goans. If you see the common minimum programme (CMP) that Goa Forward has put forth, it shows the reversal of the policies of the previous government which was anti-Goan. That intention itsef shows very clearly…. the party is here to protect Goanness,” Babush said.
Upon being asked about his recent statement on contesting the by-elections in Panaji on a Congress ticket, Babush stated that Congress was not serious about reviving itself and lacked enthusiasm. “The Congress is basically not very serious… to announce the name of the candidate whom they want to contest (on their behalf)… I have been meeting several leaders but they seem to lack enthusiasm… there are many Congress leaders who are frustrated… two senior Congress leaders are running the party as a proprietorship… these two leaders convey the Congress High Command on what is happening in Goa… the High Command is unaware of the ground realities,” monserrate said.
“If any Congress MLA resigns in the future then GFP will contest the election on that seat, we are very clear on this, which has already been discussed with him (Parrikar),” Sardesai mentioned of the active role the regional party will play in the future. He declared that GFP is becoming a ‘regional alternative’ to the Congress in Goa.
“Babush is popular as a pro-active and pro-development politician. His work in Taleigao is not only development but also Goemkarponn oriented. It is development with aesthetics, aesthetics which is very regionalistic which goes with architectural heritage,” Agriculture minister of Goa said.
“I think this is a step by which all of us in Goa now have to concentrate on building a new Goa. The opposition also stop dreaming of any chances of anybody ever unseating the present government,” Sardesai stated.
The GFP leader further mentioned that Babush Monserrate joining the GFP today is also an attempt to create a level playing field for other parties. It is not a move that comes on the eve of the election.
GFP leaders such as Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai, Saligao MLA Durgadas Kamat, Siolim MLA Vinod Palyekar, South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) Chairman Renuka D’Silva were present to welcome Monserrate into the party.