PANJIM: Expressing surprise over his exclusion from the list of invitees at the Nationalist Congress Party’s September 5 state-level convention held at Mapusa, the national general secretary of the NCP and a permanent invitee on the party’s central working committee, Mr Jitendra Deshprabhu said that a nameless envelope containing the invitation for the particular convention had however arrived at his office.
"I don’t know if it was intended for me or anyone else in my office," he added. Informally interacting with a group of pressmen on Wednesday, Mr Deshprabhu said that time has come for the senior state leaders from the Congress and the NCP to mediate in the ongoing confrontation between the state NCP unit and the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress.
"It is sad to witness members of the state units of both secular parties fighting out their differences in public," Mr Deshprabhu stated, pointing out that the local leaders of both the parties should also refrain from making any comments on the future of Congress-NCP alliance.
"The national president of both the parties namely Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Sharad Pawar have taken a decision to forge an alliance between the two parties, with a certain view and the local leaders have no right to make any statement about the same," he noted.
Replying to a question as to whether he was defeated at the 2009 Parliamentary election, while contesting on the NCP ticket in North Goa constituency, due to the negative efforts by some of the Congressmen, Mr Deshprabhu said that he has no knowledge of such a thing. "All I know is that I gave a tough fight to my rival and was almost on the brink of victory," he added.
Mr Deshprabhu further said that senior NCP leaders namely Mr Prafulla Patel and Mr Prakash Binsale have been entrusted with the NCP matters in the state, and that there was no need for him to look into the activities of the party in Goa, as he is not the Goa desk in-charge of NCP.
"I however, have responsibility of looking after states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala, and Union Territories such as Daman as well as Dadra and Nagar Haveli," Mr Deshprabhu maintained, noting that efforts are on to increase the strength of NCP in these regions. "I am neither intervening nor interfering in the affairs of the Goa NCP unit," he reiterated.
Answering another question, Mr Deshprabhu said that all the allegations against him as regards running an illegal mine in Pernem are baseless. "I am an agriculturist and have planted about 60 mango saplings in the area, where the mine is suppose to exist," he observed, inviting the media to visit the place and check out the facts. (NT)


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