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Fair Trial To ‘Framed’ Officer

It was indeed commendable to have the state unit of the National Conference of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO-Goa) espousing the cause of Sanjiv Bhatt, a former Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, sentenced by the Jamnagar sessions court to a life in prison in a 1990 custodial death case, at the Margao Municipal Square on the July 12. A righteous police officer, he is known for his role in filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court against the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, concerning Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. While one’s heart puffs up with pride at the mere mention of the upright cop, one need not put two and two together to realize that the ‘dishonoured’ police officer is a victim of political vendetta. While it is not unheard of to have the powers that be conniving to implicate ‘dissidents’ in cooked-up cases to get rid of the ‘pests’ needlessly interfering in their affairs, it needs to be said that the matter of Sanjiv Bhatt and his unceremonious ‘purging’ does not quite gel with the standard norms. In any case, the matter of a thirty-year old custodial death was effectively used to neutralize the Bhatt-factor which would otherwise have created enormous problems for many of those in the higher echelons of power. While such cases usually do not attract much public attention, the very fact that the wife of the incarcerated cop is no mood to take things lying down has prompted a national outcry with many coming forward to express solidarity with Sanjiv Bhatt and his family.


Congress In Fool’s Paradise

As per the recent statements made by some prominent Goa Congress leaders, it appears that they are living in a fool’s paradise for holding on their belief that the party has not lost its voter-base in Goa and people are still with the Congress party, despite the defection of 10 of their MLAs to the BJP. Nothing can be far from the truth after people have lost faith and trust they had earlier reposed in the party and their elected representatives who have betrayed them and proved to be black sheep of their constituencies. Unprecedented was also the decision of the party leader to abdicate responsibilities of a good shepherd and stray away from the party. There is an age-old adage which says “If you can’t beat them, then join them”. This is exactly what happened in Goa when 10 beleaguered and power- hungry Congress MLAs broke away in despair and decided to climb onto the BJP bandwagon in their greed for greener pastures.

A F Nazareth, Alto Porvorim

Goan Politics A Dirty Game

We are well aware that politics is a dirty game. It is an oft-repeated phrase that there are no permanent friends or foes in politics. But I doubt whether anyone had ever imagined that such would be the political imbroglio in the state as witnessed during the last few days, crossing all contours of decency and stooping to the lowest ethical ebb.  The 2017 elections in the state had resulted in a hung Assembly with the opposition Congress emerging as the single largest party with 17 seats and the ruling BJP decimated to 13 seats, and the MGP, the GFP and the Independents getting 3 seats each and one seat going to the NCP. Whereas everyone was hoping that the Congress would garner the support of some MLAs and stake claim to form the government, there was total lethargy in its rank and meanwhile the late Manohar Parrikar, alert as ever, mustered support from the MGP, GFP and two independents, alluring them with cabinet berths and completed the rest. It is fitting to mention here that without the support of the said 8 MLAs it would not have been possible to have the BJP rule in the state.  But what do we see now? It is not even four months since the sad demise of Manohar Parrikar but the entire political equation of Goa has been decimated. Just because the BJP has become the super power at the Centre after the parliamentary elections and the Congress being in a state of turmoil, 10 of the 15 Congress MLAs have joined the BJP, giving it an unprecedented majority of 27 seats. In a most disgraceful move the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has sought the resignation of the four ministers, including the Deputy Chief Minister and has inducted the party-hopping Congress MLAs in the cabinet. Is there any level of principles in Goan politics?  When the BJP wanted the support of the GFP and independents, it went begging at their feet and now that they have sufficient numbers in the Assembly they have just driven them out. BJP in Goa may feel highly elevated of their achievements but the ground reality is different. There is terrible unease among their own party cadres, who feel betrayed after putting in their best efforts for the party. The GFP in particular will feel terribly humiliated but a lesson has been learnt to trust none in politics.


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