Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Live to eat -3

Stomach this! 

If chief ministers and ministers of the ruling party need to press home their guiding principle that development means building elegant holiday homes in Goa for Mumbai's and Delhi's prosperous tax evaders and, to hell with the potable water needs of the aam aadmi or their trepidation at being segregated in their own villages; one way I guess to keep the rest of the flock (and without ministerial power) happy is to use food as an enticement.  


A minister after all is like a demigod.  He has all the spending powers and the excuses to holiday like Churchill Alemao did in London trying to fit into the shoes of his cigar chomping namesake (mercifully, only) Sir Winston Churchill though not quite slipping into them while Goa's taps ran dry or, Digambar Kamat holidaying in Kashmir and being awed by it while the aam aadmi was being robbed wholesale by thieves working with impunity at night.  Or, Vishwajit Rane holidaying in France.

How else can you explain Digambar Kamat, Pratapsing Rane and Manohar Parrikar splurging Rs 15,82,251 on food for their ilk.  Food for thought indeed!  And by the way even in his short stint as power minister and amid all the daily power stoppages and fluctuations Alexio Sequeira could find the spark in himself to spend Rs 1,03,590 on a dinner for the KIP Group at the Radisson.  On January 16, 2008 he also threw a dinner for Sherali Kharyreulla, the Tajikistan, defence minister, Tajikistan and others at the Sun & Sand that cost the taxpayer Rs 48,223.

And as parties go, there is little difference.  The BJP like to describe themselves as a party with a difference.  But the only difference is in the watering holes they patronize as can be seen in Manohar Parrikar's dining-out experience.  When it comes down to it, development may be the name of the game but the route to it is through the stomach, even for the BJP.  Who cares if taps run dry or for the power outages, the aam aadmi can wait while the powers that be (and should not be!) partake of the repast.

Manohar Parrikar

23.05.04 –dinner for A.Venkateshwarm, Arvind Ray at Mandovi –Rs 11,659+Rs 3,200 on gifts.

26.05.04 –dinner for Canadian delegation at Cidade de Goa –Rs 17,630.

29.06.04 –official lunch at Ruchira Bar, Mapusa –Rs 4,500.

01.07.04 -20.12.04 –daily official lunches at Ruchira Bar –Rs 1,70,050.

06.07.04 –lunch for ministers, MLA's at Samarath Caterers –Rs 2,400.

07.07.04 –dinner for Prof Satish Udapur, Prof Lalitha Udapur, Michigan State University at Goa Marriott –Rs 16,715.

30.07.04 –dinner for ex-PM at Mandovi –Rs 33,990.

27.08.04 –dinner for Association of Indian Management Schools at Cidade de Goa –Rs 72,815.

22.09.04 –dinner for invitees at Mandovi –Rs 9,504.

08.10.04 –dinner for Canada-India Institute Industrial Project delegates at Mandovi –Rs 1,69,325.

08.11.04 -dinner for XXIX Jr National Badminton Championship –Rs 44,500.

08.12.04 -lunch for select journalists covering IFFI at Nova Goa –Rs 50,720.

08.12.04 –lunch for select journalist covering IFFI at Nova Goa –Rs 17,080.

12.01.05 –dinner for Indian Forest Service officers at Cidade de Goa –Rs 48,328.

10.01.05 -14.01.05 –official lunch at Ruchira Bar –Rs 20,000

23.06.05 -lunch for select journalists at Ruchira Bar –Rs 8,100.

23.08.05 –dinner at Nova Goa –Rs 12,500.

08.10.05 -dinner for select journalists at Nova Goa –Rs 7,280.

12.12.05 –dinner for 30 at Mandovi –Rs 14,288.

05.02.06 –lunch for 15 at Nova Goa –Rs 4,593.

August, 2005, February-March 2006 -Lunch for MLAs during Assembly session at Ruchira Bar –Rs 1,08,900.

26.03.06 -dinner for 60 at Mandovi –Rs 27,563.

05.05.06 –dinner for 60 at Mandovi –Rs 23,625.

21.07.06 -dinner for 11 at Nova Goa –Rs 9,930.

02.08.06 –dinner for 70 at Mandovi –Rs 31,759.

04.08.06 –dinner for 16 at Mandovi –Rs 10,631.

14.10.06 –lunch for MLAs –Rs 6,500.

20.12.06 -lunch for MLAs, invitees at Nova Goa –Rs 15,645.

10.07.06-31.07.06 –lunch for MLAs during Assembly session at Ruchira Bar –Rs 1,07,104.

20.01.07 -dinner for MLAs at Mandovi –Rs 7,875.

22-25.01.07 –lunch for MLAs during Assembly session at Ruchira Bar –Rs 36,224.

08.03.07 –lunch for ruling ministers, MLAs at O 'Coqueiro –Rs 29,000.

03.03.07 –dinner for MLAs, invitees at Mandovi –Rs 12,206.

05-09.03.07 –lunch for MLAs during Assembly session at Ruchira –Rs 39,376.

Total spent on entertainment between May 2004 and March 2007 was Rs 12,05,515 of which Rs 5,59,780 was spent on entertaining MLAs and ministers.

The government's food bill so far:

Digambar Kamat Rs 36,47,744

Pratapsing Rane Rs 39,72,941

Manohar Parrikar Rs 12,05,515

Total Rs 88,262,00

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