I have absolutely nothing personal against Smriti Irani. Infact during the 2007 Goa Assembly elections at the invitation of late Manohar Parrikar was very privileged to address various BJP public meetings along with Smriti. At those meetings she unfailingly showered praises on me, saying that ‘I was a hope for a better Goa’. Ironically may not be a hope for the Iranis today.

I recollect Smriti and her suave hubby Zubin asking me then whether I knew of any good properties for sale in Goa, but told them that I was a lawyer and not a real estate broker.

In those days the Congress had branded me as a BJP man, now the BJP may feel that I am a Congress wallah.  I have suffered under the Congress when on the eve of Christmas 1986 during that Konkani agitation, the then Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane ordered my detention under the National Security Act (NSA). Similarly, over the last decade the BJP has persistently been misusing the Police to unduly harass me, but the Courts have ensured the Rule of law.

I have for long endured the vicious witch-hunt, earlier by the Congress and now by the BJP. It has been a very long battle but with the Grace of God besides prayers and blessings from my fellow brethren, have braved it all. 

Those who know me are well aware that truth and  probity in public life are paramount. As Goa’s humble soldier, serving the people is a commitment, which I will carry on till my very last breath. With God’s protection, renewed hope and even greater resolve, may the Almighty guide and inspire me at all times.

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