Goa Congress reaches out to 'hapless' BJP workers

Panaji, Jul 4 (IANS): Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar on Wednesday said the BJP was letting down its grassroots workers in constituencies represented by its alliance partner and offered to help the "hapless" cadre.

"I have been receiving phone calls from the constituencies of Fatorda, Porvorim, Saligao and Siolim where the BJP workers plead for help to save them from the harassment by local MLAs who are ministers in the Cabinet," Chodankar said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"I am not shying away from helping them because I am convinced that injustice is happening to these hardcore BJP workers, many of whom are key members of the mandals (BJP's basic organisational unit) and I will fight for them, but I want to bring this to the notice of BJP leaders including the Chief Minister."

Fatorda, Saligao, Siolim are represented by ministers from the Goa Forward party while Porvorim Assembly constituency is represented by an Independent MLA, who is a Revenue Minister and part of the ruling coalition.

For several months now, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) grassroots leaders and workers have been complaining to the party's state executive about the step-motherly treatment given to them by ministers from alliance partners.

"Being from a cadre myself, I know how much it would pain if I have to plead for support from a rival political party whom one has always been insulting...

"I appeal to BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to liberate these cadres from the oppressive rule of the ministers. BJP should provide attention to its own cadres who have stood with them during thick and thin," Chodankar said.

The BJP has been accusing the Congress President of desperately fishing in troubled waters.

"He should look after his own Congress leaders who do not have faith in the party and its leadership," state BJP General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade said.