Panaji, July 20 (IANS) The Goa unit of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Saturday termed as the "dirty dozen" the team of 12 top BJP leaders formed under the stewardship of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the 2014 general elections.
"What can you expect from a party which is openly trying to split the country? That team is the dirty dozen of the BJP," Goa NCP president Nilkanth Halarnkar told IANS.
He also said that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's inclusion in the Bharatiya Janata Party team was "unfortunate" for the state.
"It is unfortunate that our chief minister is hobnobbing openly with Modi, who has such a communal image. It is a bad advertisement for Goa," Halarnkar added.
However, BJP spokesperson Wilfred Mesquita called Parrikar's appointment to the team "thrilling news" for the party's state unit.
"He is one of our best leaders and it is naturally a matter of happiness for us that he has been selected," Mesquita said, adding that Parrikar's services and electoral expertise could be best utilised in the process of drafting election manifestos and coming up with innovative ideas.
When asked if the party would be in a position to replicate what is being touted by the BJP's senior leaders as the "Goa model" Parrikar is credited to have developed by fielding minority candidates for the March 2012 assembly polls in the state, Mesquita said: "Goa is different. Catholics are different and Muslims are different. What works here may not work elsewhere."
Subhash Shirodkar, chief of the Congress in Goa, was however nonchalant with respect to the appointment of the Goa chief minister to the BJP's key panel.
"It does not matter to the Congress. No team will deter us. We are least bothered about it," Shirodkar said.
As head of the BJP election management committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, 12 party leaders were appointed under the stewardship of Modi Friday.
The team will oversee the functioning of 20 poll-related sub committees. Members of the team include Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Nitin Gadkari, Thawar Gehlot, Murli Manohar Joshi, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ram Lalji and Ananth Kumar.