Oppn MLAs say govt sidelining them in battle against COVID-19

Panaji: Some opposition MLAs in Goa have claimed the state government was not taking them into confidence while formulating strategies to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

The ruling BJP, however, said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been meeting the opposition leaders and they are being taken into confidence.

Sawant earlier said each minister will be allotted a taluka to oversee implementation of norms to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

He said ministers will have to meet senior officials in their designated talukas regularly to ensure the outbreak is contained.

Goa Forward Party chief Vijay Sardesai in a tweet on Tuesday evening said, “Ministers allotted talukas are meeting officials and ruling MLAs to discuss #COVID19Outbreak sans Opp MLAs, in the backdrop of growing number of positive cases in Goa and insufficient health infrastructure. Did these meetings discuss the mysterious Plan B that @visrane (health minister) referred to?”

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Besides, Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte in a tweet said, “The BJP government by-passing the elected MLAs to further its own agenda during a pandemic is a new low even by BJP Goas standards.”

“Holding private meetings with only BJP MLAs for ‘awareness drive’ in constituencies where they have no MLAs is clearly unethical to overtake in a chain of line,” he said.

Instead, if they genuinely wanted to spread awareness and extend help to Goenkars (Goans), they should have allocated responsibilities to local MLAs…only that wouldnt get BJP Goa any political brownies, he added.

Goa Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar refuted the claims, saying the meetings were being held to understand the ground-level situation.

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“There was no need to call local MLAs as the chief minister has been meeting them and they are taken into confidence, he said.

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