Parrikar's High Jump, Mining Ban, Bikini Issue Kept Goa Busy

Published: 21st December 2014 10:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2014 10:41 AM   |  A+A-


PANAJI: While Goa remained busy during the entire year for some reason or the other, the unexpected elevation of its Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to the post of Defence Minister surprised many.

Amid the discussion of ban on bikinis on the beaches, Goa's Transport Minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar hogged limelight, after he demanded that the swim wear should be

banned on the shorelines.

His demand was at the backdrop of unsuccessful entry of controversial organisation – Sri Ram Sene in the state. Sene was banned, but the bikini controversy continued to occupy news space.

The sudden decision of the Narendra Modi-led government to invite Parrikar to join the central ministry came as an unbelievable development.

What followed the invitation was hectic political lobbying within the party, which was seen clearly divided between two groups.

Catholic leader Francis D'Souza's attempt to step into the shoes of Parrikar failed, while strong RSS lobby managed to crown Laxmikant Parsekar on the chair.

The exit of Parrikar also saw entry of Goa Vikas Party (GVP) legislator Fransisco Miccky Pacheco into the Cabinet. The former tourism minister was given low profile portfolios this time as he has to be contended with the departments of Archeology and Archives and Rural Development Agency.

Parsekar is now left with the several unfinished works including the phasewise resumption of the iron ore mining business in the state, which got a green nod from the Supreme Court lifting the two-year-long ban.

The seven iron ore-rich talukas of the state waited with the hope during the year that the mining would resume bringing back the much needed finances to them.

The Supreme Court in April lifted the ban on mining with several pre-conditions. Parrikar promised the mining activity to start by December, but the assurances went in vain.

The iron ore extraction industry is yet to see the light of the day. New Chief Minister Parsekar has said the industry will resume early coming year.

The year began on a sporting note for the state which saw construction of two new stadiums and upgrading of four more to host the Portuguese Commonwealth Games. The Lusofonia Games were held in the state during January.

The sports infrastructure which was created for the games now continues to be in shamble, though one of the facility Dr Shama Prasad Mukherjee stadium was used for first ever public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and opening and closing of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

During the year, sports-crazy legislators including three ministers – Ramesh Tawadkar, Avertano Furtado and Milind Naik, booked their tickets to see FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but their government paid trip was cut to size after the protests over unwanted spendings.

Few of the legislators and one minister managed to go for the World Cup promising that they would pay back the money to the state government, but have failed to do so, till date.

The year began with the arrest of Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal for sexual abuse of his colleague at a five-star hotel near here.

Tejpal managed to get bail during the year, after his mother expired.

At the fag end of the eventful year, the state saw two of country's megastars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajanikanth arriving here during the inauguration of IFFI.

Rajanikanth was given centenary award for the best film actor.

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