Manohar Parrikar on three-day Goa visit from today

Panaji: Union Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is set to arrive in Panaji on Saturday for his three-day Goa visit during which he will address a public meeting on Monday in his home town of Mapusa, 9 kms from here. “Parrikar will arrive in Goa today. He will be busy in meetings tomorrow and on Monday he will address a public meeting at Mapusa bus stand,” BJP General Secretary Sadanand Tanavade said.

This would be Parrikar’s first visit to the state after India launched surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC). Goa BJP had a planned grand welcome for him on October 4, but had cancelled it due to the Baramulla terror strike and also owing to pressure from Opposition parties. Tanavade said Parrikar will address the public meeting as part of the party’s campaign ahead of the upcoming assembly polls in the coastal state.

He rubbished talk that the party on October 4 had planned Parrikar’s felicitation for the surgical strikes, and said a grand welcome for him was in the offing.

BJP’s election campaign was kicked off by party President Amit Shah on August 20 who addressed a meeting at Dr Shama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium near Panaji. The party has said that they are open to talks for alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) during the Goa polls. A senior BJP leader said the talks of alliance may not happen during Parrikar’s visit.

“The talks are not on schedule,” the BJP leader said. MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar had recently told mediamen that the talks of alliance are unlikely to begin soon, as the party was waiting for the notification declaring dates for the election. BJP’s Goa Desk Incharge Nitin Gadkari, during his recent visit, had said that the alliance with MGP will be finalised soon as both the parties (BJP-MGP) are not averse to fight the polls together.