Alliance in 2017 was a mistake

The newly sworn-in minister Michael Lobo on Saturday said that forming the post-poll alliance with Goa Forward Party (GFP) in 2017 was a ‘mistake’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party. “I feel we did that mistake. At that time there were some Congress MLAs who wanted to resign and join along with Vishwajit Rane but we didn’t accept…We should have accepted them,” said Lobo when questioned by reporters at the Assembly complex in Porvorim on the post-poll alliance with GFP. Indirectly referring to GFP president Vijai Sardesai and Independent MLA from Porvorim constituency Rohan Khaunte, Lobo said, “People will tell you about the language they were using and how they were misleading the people. The way they were behaving…I think their agenda was I, me and myself. They enjoyed the power for themselves and people are well aware of this fact.” Lobo resigned from the post of Deputy Speaker of the state legislative assembly hours before taking oath as a new cabinet minister in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led government. He also announced that he will soon step down as the chairman of North Goa Planning and Development Authority.

Later in the day, after the swearing-in ceremony, while interacting with media persons at the Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula, he said that Sardesai and Khaunte, both, have forgotten former chief minister late Manohar Parrikar and his legacy. He said, “Parrikar should be in your heart, I am from Parra and we are also Parrikars…he is in my heart and he should remain in their hearts. His legacy is a different kind of legacy and the direction in which they were going is not Parrikar’s legacy.” Lobo said that making Goa clean and keeping it clean will be his first priority. He has expressed his wish before Sawant to give him an opportunity to work so as to implement the mission of Swachh Bharat. “We have made a system for garbage disposal in North Goa coastal belt with a garbage treatment plant in my constituency…we need to have four more similar plants. A place like Sonsoddo should not occur again for which we have to work out solutions together,” he said. “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mission. It cannot happen overnight. It may take six months or one year but it will happen. If it has to happen, somebody has to be behind it, so I am ready to be behind it,” Lobo said.