Panaji, May 4 (IANS) Sarcasm appears to be the latest weapon in the Congress’s fast-depleting arsenal, when it comes to taking on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s juggernaut in Goa.
A letter written last month by Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamhankar addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, thick with sarcasm, requests the latter to start a story-telling competition for all chief ministers.
Calling Parrikar a master story teller who can unleash tales and anecdotes by the minute to floor the opposition, and use his wiles to skirt real issues, Tamhankar says the Goa chief minister would get top billing if such a competition were held.
“I am requesting the prime minister to please urgently organise a story-telling competition for chief ministers so that everyone in the country can come to know that Parrikar is the best story teller, when it comes to fooling the people,” his letter says.
The letter was dispatched to the Prime Minister’s Office April 22, and has been endorsed by the ‘Dak Section’ of that office.
One of the key issues raised by the Congress leader in the letter involves the allotment of an industrial plot to Parrikar’s son, which triggered controversy a couple of months back. While the Congress has cried nepotism, the BJP has backed the chief minister, saying the allotment was clean as a whistle.
The letter to Singh now says that instead of clarifying the issue, the chief minister “started telling sweet bed-time stories to the opposition”.
So towering is the effect of the technocrat chief minister on his cabinet colleagues, the Congress has claimed, that they are hardly able to respond to serious queries posed by the opposition.
“When opposition MLAs asked serious questions related to the general public of the state, then Mr. Manohar Parrikar tells his cabinet ministers to sit down and starts (telling) interesting stories to the opposition MLAs and every serious issue in the assembly gets diluted because of his (Parrikar’s) best story telling concept”.
“I firmly believe that if a story telling competition is organised for all chief ministers from our country I have great confidence and am cent percent sure that the first prize will be won by Manohar Prabhu Parrikar…,” Tamhankar said.
In a footnote, the Congressman, adds: “It is pertinent to note that when people arise and criticise him, he starts telling them sweet stories that fool them and mislead them and if anyone refuses to hear his sweet stories then he threatens them…”.
As the principal opposition party, the Congress, which is fraught with infighting and a severe credibility crisis, has found it difficult to take on Parrikar through the last 13 months in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition government has been in power.
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