In a U-turn vis-à-vis his earlier stand to lead the State, Deputy Speaker and Calangute MLA, Michael Lobo said Goa was devoid of a strong opposition and therefore was ready to step into the shoes of the opposition leader. “Today, there is no opposition in Goa. Government has to be apprised of wrongs that are going on in the State. If the government has veered of the path it has to be brought back on track. For that we need a good opposition leader. I am ready to be the leader of opposition in future,” Lobo said. Lobo’s statement came as a surprise, as in the recent past he had said that he was the chief ministerial candidate in future. The deputy speaker was speaking after paying tributes to the former CM Dayanand Bandodkar on his birth anniversary in Calangute. Continuing, Lobo said everyone was running after power and in such circumstances next time we will have to appeal to voters to either give us absolute majority or consign us to the Opposition as there was need of a strong opposition leader. “If people do not want to give us 22 seats (whichever party we are) at least keep us in the Opposition so that we are able to raise our voice and protect Goa,” he said. In an apparent dig at his own government, the Calangute MLA said leaders should not run after power and force elections on people. “Goa should not be burdened with elections again and again. Leaders should not run after power or else people will show you your place,” Lobo said.
Taking the opportunity to hit out at the NGOs, the Calangute MLA said some people who lost panchayat elections have begun extorting money in the name of NGOs. “They are obstructing every good work the panchayat is taking up. We were doing a park in Baga but people came to stop that too. That park does not need CRZ NOC but how to convince such people…,” he said. Paying tributes to the first CM, he said, Dayanand Bandodkar was a visionary leader who laid the foundation of an elaborate education system in the State. “It is now left on Goans to take his legacy ahead,” he said. Calangute Sarpanch Shawn Martins also spoke on the occasion.