Luizinho opposes support to Sardinha

| 28 August 2000 23:02 IST

After making frequent topplings order of the day in Goa, the greedy politicians are now planning something different –convincing the chief minister to topple his own government.

Chief minister Francisco Sardinha had split along with his 10 colleagues by toppling the then Congress government in November last year, to form a coalition government with the BJP. Recently, five more Congressmen split to support his coalition.

As this has pushed the Congress into a minority of mere nine (excluding the speaker) in the 40-member House, a fresh proposal has been mooted to readmit all the 16 defectors back into the party fold eventually, while beginning the process by supporting the Sardinha government.

The condition ? Part away with the BJP ! "We are prepared to support Sardinha's new government if he keeps communal forces like the BJP away from power", says Ravi Naik, the CLP leader. This is in fact the first time the Congress has openly come out with such a proposal.

"There is no question of parting away with our friends", claims Sardinha, while dismissing the proposal as he had done it in the past. But he has left for Delhi today, as political circles suspect that the purpose of his visit to the national capital is political rather than official.

But the possibility of the proposal getting materialised appears little bleak because it is also opposed by Goa PCC chief Luizinho Faleiro, the known political rival of Sardinha and the former chief minister against whom the latter had revolted.

"I personally feel that it is not proper to impose yet another by-election on the voters within little over one year", opines Faleiro, hinting indirectly that accepting any such proposal would result into total political chaos in the state once again.

In fact Goa has already gone through one President's Rule for six months from February last year, after series of defections had ultimately made it unmanageable even for the greedy politicians to provide a stable government. The fresh elections were then held in June.

"I had created a Frankenstein. The same Frankenstein will now finish Sardinha", predicts Faleiro. He is referring to most of the legislators who had defected from three regional parties to join the Congress during Faleiro's regime, who have now defected once again from the Congress to support Sardinha.

Though Faleiro feels that the proposal of the Congress to support Sardinha government would end up in dissolution of the Assembly, in the same breadth he also predicts that the greedy defectors would topple Sardinha even otherwise.

All these defectors, from Sardinha to Shaikh Hassan (leader of the new splinter group), had claimed that they had revolted against Faleiro's dictatorial functioning in the party. But Faleiro dubs it as a mere excuse posed every time by most of the defectors.

While refusing to step down owing moral responsibility of two consecutive splits in the national party within nine months, the Goa PCC chief however confesses that it was his mistake to field these chronic, habitual and professional defectors as the party candidates, giving prime importance to the winnability factor.

"I am not blaming them for defecting. They had a genuine financial difficulty which neither me nor my party could solve", discloses Faleiro. He claims that they defected to overcome the deep financial crisis they were going through, though two of his colleagues had guts to refuses Sardinha's offer of Rs 25 lakh each.

As he was toppled in November last by those having lust for power for not expanding the cabinet beyond six, Faleiro confidently states that the downfall of the Sardinha government is certain if he does not include these defectors into his cabinet.

While the jumbo cabinet is already having 14 members into it including three from the BJP and all the 11 who had defected from the Congress, the BJP has strongly opposed to further expansion of the cabinet.

Sardinha is thus trapped from all the sides while political observers wonder whether he would overcome the crisis successfully by satisfying everybody when politics has become a pure business and defection a matter of pride for the shameless politicians in Goa.

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