Going by the reports, the Goa government junket (of ministers and MLAs) to the FIFA World Cup is no more the Goa government ‘junket’. It stands cancelled / modified now.
Cancelled, as the trip will be funded by the ministers and the members of the Goa legislative assembly (MLAs) now in their personal capacity! Modified, as the trip is still on. But, anyway, that is just playing around the words.
The baseline is, the taxpayers’ money is not going to be wasted on this ‘pathetically’ conceived ‘exploratory study’ sort of tour.
Obviously, it came after its due share of humiliation and political manifestation that could have been easily avoided.
But given the past track record, and his good name (with the legend of being a chief minister who still drives his scooter), Mr. Manohar Parrikar should be given the benefit of doubt and should be duly thanked for listening to the voices and taking this ‘in time’ decision.
Yes, the trip is still on, but the Goa sports minister has withdrawn his name and four other BJP members and one independent MLA will pay from their pocket to enjoy the Brazilian hospitality.
So, we can say the junket has been junked, rightly and in time.
Whatever went into – the delayed conscience of a good human being-cum-politician-turned-chief minister Manohar Parrikar – or the BJP central leadership pressure with Narendra Modi on a ‘cleanliness’ drive – or the pressure of mounting criticism by media, social media, civil society and political opposition – the decision or the ‘U-turn’ by the Goa government after the strong defense by Mr. Parrikar came just a day later, yesterday – and therefore, Mr. Parrikar deserves to be thanked, even if he doesn’t come forward to clear his position.
I have been an admirer of him and was feeling bad while writing the satirical piece* on the junket day before yesterday. And therefore this decision just in a day has come as a personal relief.
Every prime minister is not as strong by his position as Narendra Modi is. Same can be said about chief ministers.
Manohar Parrikar is not as strong a chief minister by his position as J Jayalalitha or Mamata Banarjee or Naveen Patnaik is. And we should not be surprised if this whole ‘FIFA junket’ exercise was an imposed idea sort of thing that Mr. Parrikar could not ‘junk initially’.
But, ‘all’s that ends well’! It’s clear now.
And thanks for that Mr. Parrikar!
*GOA MLAS JUNKET TO FIFA WORLD CUP: FRUGAL! SINCERE!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/