Goa elections: Changing parties doesnt mean people will elect Michael Lobo, says Devendra Fadnavis

Times of India | 7 months ago | 08-02-2022 | 11:51 am

Goa elections: Changing parties doesnt mean people will elect Michael Lobo, says Devendra Fadnavis

CALANGUTE: Former Calangute BJP MLA and minister Michael Lobo joined Congress because he knew there was an anti-incumbency mood against him, BJP Goa election in-charge and Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday. “He thinks by changing his party people will change their minds and he will win. He claims he works for people, but in reality he’s become the boss of the people and thinks he’s the king,” Fadnavis said at the opening of Calangute BJP candidate Joseph Sequeira’s campaign office. Sequeira said Lobo has spoiled the image of Goa’s tourism hub. “Today Calangute is known for drugs, prostitution, goondagiri. That is the development he has done in the 10 years he’s been MLA,” he said, further criticising Lobo for bringing Calangute under the North Goa Planning and Development Authority against peoples’ wishes.

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‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
Times of India | 21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am
Times of India
21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am

PANAJI: Goa should focus on conserving and improving the population of sambar deer in its protected areas to help tiger conservation in the state. Sambar is the ideal prey for tigers, as it provides sufficient supply of meat for days and will allow tigers to stay and breed in Goa, said A J T Johnsingh, Padma Shri awardee, conservationist, and former dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. While subsequent ministers have often said that there are no ‘resident’ tigers in Goa and these big cats keep shifting base to the forests across the border, Johnsingh said proactive measures are required to get tigers to breed inside Goa’s protected areas. “Barking deer, spotted deer may not contribute to tiger conservation and gaurs tend to attack tigers. Sambar, once hunted, can be consumed for days. First, a detailed survey of the sambar population is required in Goa. There are sambars, but some years ago as many as 20 were poached. Sambar conservation in Goa is tiger conservation,” Johnsingh told TOI. He said the argument that a tiger reserve is not needed in Goa does not stand because though the state has almost 700sqkm of protected area, these have many human settlements within. “At least 150sqkm of core area is required with no human population. Any existing settlements should be rehabilitated. Simultaneously, efforts should be made to improve sambar population in the entire 700 sq km. And Goa will see results in five years’ time. Having a tiger reserve will earn Goa funds from the Centre for support staff, a good field director and vehicles to improve its protected areas,” said Johnsingh, who has helped shape the Wildlife Institute of India over his two-decade-long stint there. An interim cattle compensation policy is also vital for tiger conservation, Johnsingh said. “In Corbett, in the buffer area, more than 10,000 cattle have been killed over the years. But there is not a single report of tiger poisoning. This is because if Rs 20,000 is provided as cattle compensation to locals, Rs 5,000 of it is provided immediately as interim relief. Some wealthy persons from Goa should come forward to help with funds for such immediate relief in the interest of tiger conservation,” he said. Goa also needs more courageous forest officials, Johnsingh said. “We need forest officials who have courage to tell ministers what exactly is needed for Goa,” he said. Johnsingh also said Goa is not suitable for tiger safari focused tourism because of its terrain and other factors. “In Goa, one should focus on nature tourism, like birdwatching, reptile watching, amphibian watching, rather than tiger tourism,” he explained.

‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
BJP in office today due to Upadhyay: Kamat
Times of India | 1 day ago | 26-09-2022 | 04:45 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 26-09-2022 | 04:45 am

Margao: Up until about10 days ago, he was singing paeans to the founders of Congress and how its roots lay in the freedom movement. On Sunday, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat paid rich tributes to Pt Deendayal Upadhyay, an RSS thinker and former leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of BJP, on his birth anniversary. Hopping from ward to ward represented by councillors affiliated to him, Kamat led his supporters-turned-saffron karyakartas in eulogising the leader who showed the nation the path of antyodaya. For Kamat, the ideological switchover has been seemingly smooth and complete, effortless and instant. “Upadhyay laid the foundation of today’s BJP. If BJP is in office today, its credit goes to leaders like him who did the spadework for the party which was then known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh. It’s the exemplary work done by Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee that has now resulted in BJP coming to office,” Kamat told his supporters who stood shoulder to shoulder with original BJP karyakartas who had fought battles over the last 17 years.Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat of Sunday, wherein Modi hailed Upadhyay and credited him with India’s progress and achievements, Kamat said that BJP (then Bharatiya Jana Sangh) during those times worked towards reaching out to all sections of society and uplifting the common man. “It’s the duty of all karyakartas to remember the leader, and therefore the party chalked out this program of holding the shraddhanjali programme in all wards,” Kamat said. Political observers say that BJP’s success in Margao will hinge largely on how well the two BJP factions – one controlled by Kamat and the other belonging to the party cadre – gel with each other. A few days ago, BJP held a meeting with Kamat and the party cadre in Panaji in the presence of the top brass of BJP, including chief minister Pramod Sawant, that served as an icebreaker to thaw the relations between the two. The recent change in equations in the Margao Municipal Council (MMC), following Kamat switching over to BJP, led to the ouster of Ghanashyam Shirodkar, hardly a week after he was elected chairperson. Though Kamat’s nominee Damodar Shirodkar was defeated by Ghanashyam in the chairperson’s elections, it’s unlikely that Kamat will have the final word in deciding the candidature this time as a couple of councillors elected on the BJP-backed panel are also eyeing the top post.

BJP in office today due to Upadhyay: Kamat