Faced with a two-pronged attack with the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) increasing popularity in Goa and a new front against the ruling BJP opened by RSS’s former Goa unit chief Subash Velingkar, Union Defence Minister and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar took on both challengers in Panaji on Saturday.
Claiming that his “Sangh education” and discipline is the reason behind his silence despite Velingkar’s “ill-disciplined” remarks over the weeks, Parrikar said, “Even if other person acts ill-disciplined, I have maintained my discipline for the last six months. This is what the Sangh has taught me. But I will have to break my silence if they don’t end (their criticism of the BJP),” he said about his former RSS mentor’s tirade against the state government.
Taking on AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in a light-hearted manner, he said the Delhi CM’s “unrelenting” criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the reason behind his “enlarged tongue”, a medical condition that led to his chronic cough, and for which he underwent surgery in Bengaluru Wednesday. “I sympathise with Kejriwal, who is on a sick leave. But over there (Delhi), he criticises the Prime Minister, and during his campaign (in Goa, he speaks) against me. Because of this, his tongue got enlarged, and now…it has to be trimmed,” Parrikar said, signalling a scissor with his fingers across his own tongue.
Accusing Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia of “abandoning” Delhi, Parrikar said, “Sisodia and other AAP leaders are on Finland tour. In Goa, his minister (Satyendar Jain) ignorantly proposed to set up mohalla clinics, (even as) in Delhi nearly 40 people have died of dengue and chikungunya.”