Panaji, Sep 26 (IANS) Former Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, whose Goa Forward party is part of the NDA, on Thursday likened state BJP minister Michael Lobo to a “rat”, after the latter did not meet a group protesting against his visit to a garbage dump in South Goa.
Sardesai also shouted slogans against Lobo, Minister for Garbage Management in the BJP-led coalition government in Goa, accusing him of politicising the garbage management issue at the state’s biggest garbage dump in Sonsoddo in South Goa.
“The point is why is he (Lobo) not willing to speak to the elected representatives without making this ‘tamasha’ (drama) of coming here and running away like a rat. He ran away like a rat because he was scared of the people,” Sardesai told reporters outside the garbage dump site.
Sardesai’s Goa Forward is a part of the pan-India ruling National Democratic Alliance network which includes various regional parties. Goa Forward currently has three MLAs – including Sardesai – in the coastal state, who have repeatedly professed their loyalty to the BJP-led NDA.
The inability of the state government as well as a private waste management agency to treat garbage at Sonsoddo, has raised health concerns in the nearby area. In May, the garbage dump had started been emitting smoke due to fire triggered by combustible methane gas pockets in the dump.
Lobo had visited the site on Thursday, with a team of officials of the Solid Waste Management Corporation and other civic officials to examine the dump and find ways and means to tackle the menace.
“We are looking to treat the garbage dump using new technology,” Lobo said.
Lobo, however, avoided meeting protesters led by Sardesai and leaders from other political parties at the site.