Unique austerity of the Govt.

| 28 June 2002 22:34 IST

Goa's Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government is practising a different kind of austerity culture, thanks to the 'rich' background of its ministers.

When chief minister Manohar Parrikar took over in November 1999 during his last term, the first thing he did was to withdraw posh Maruti Baleno cars, which his predecessor Congress government had bought. The ministers were back in their Maruti Esteems.

It is a symbolic gesture to let people know that the BJP is not for 'mauj maja' at the cost of public exchequer, said Parrikar. In fact 'new cars with every new government' had become an issue in Goa, which has been witnessing new government every new season for over a decade now.

Parrikar has now once again come to power after May elections, but with the support of three men from the United Goans Democratic Party and two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. Except one UGDP legislator Mathany Saldhana, obviously, the rest are his ministers holding key portfolios.

But three among them have decided not to use even government cars, but their own cars. But the reason is not to upheld Parrikar's austerity principle or even save money from the state treasures. It's simply because they are not used to sit in the Esteems…

Tourism minister Mickky Pacheco, the NRI -turned politician, uses his Mitsubishi Lancer whereas town and country planning minister Babush Monseratte, known to be a loan shark till yesterday, continues moving in one of his 15 cars - the Hyundai Assent.

Besides these two UGDP men, MGP's newly elected transport minister Pandurang Madkaikar, one of the leading builder of the state, prefers to use the Opel Astra. Other 'poor' ministers, however, still continue using Esteems while the Balenos are pulled out of garage only when the union ministers come down…

Poor Goa !

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