A war of words took place on social media between the Chief Ministers of Delhi and Goa over Wednesday and Thursday, with Arvind Kejriwal accusing his Goan counterpart of ignoring local voices under “the Centre’s diktat”, in return being accused by Dr Pramod Sawant of doing “divisive politics”.
The spat began on Twitter on Wednesday after Delhi Chief Minister responded to a news portal’s tweet citing Sawant, a BJP member, as saying that “Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should first fix issues of pollution in his area before getting worried about Goa.”
There has been an ongoing feud in Goa between the ruling BJP and Kejriwal’s AAP over environmental issues. Responding to the news portal’s tweet, Kejriwal said, tagging the Goa CM, “It’s not about Delhi’s pollution vs Goa’s pollution. Both Delhi and Goa are dear to me. We are all one country. We all have to work together to ensure there is no pollution in both Delhi and Goa.”
Dear @ArvindKejriwal ji,
Doubling of Railway tracks is a nation building exercise.
There is no threat to Mollem & we will ensure it remains that way.
We will not allow Goa to become coal hub.
Knowing your expertise in creating Center vs State issues, we will skip your advice. https://t.co/R0nyO8Bzry
— Dr. Pramod Sawant (@DrPramodPSawant) November 12, 2020
His Goan counterpart replied, “Dear Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ji , we are making sure that there is no pollution issue in Goa and our government will ensure that our state remains pollution-free. I am sure the people of Delhi also want the same in their beautiful state.”
The spat spilled over to Thursday when the Delhi CM raised the issue of a Railway track doubling project, which will pass through Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, and asked him to save Goa from becoming a “coal hub”. “It is heartening to hear that Dr Pramod Swanat ji . (But) Goans are opposing (the) double tracking project. Kindly hear their voice and save Mollem as they (sic) are the lungs of Goa. I understand the Centre is forcing this project on Goa. Please stand with Goans, say NO to Center and save Goa from becoming (a) coal hub,” tweeted Kejriwal on Thursday morning.
The Goa CM replied to this by accusing Kejriwal of being an expert in “creating Center vs State issues”, and said the state will skip his advice. “Dear Arvind Kejriwal ji, Doubling of Railway tracks is a nation-building exercise. There is no threat to Mollem and we will ensure it remains that way. We will not allow Goa to become a coal hub. Knowing your expertise in creating Center vs State issues, we will skip your advice,” tweeted Sawant.
Taking the matter further, the Delhi CM asked Sawant to listen to the local people’s voice as they have a “say in their own state”. “Dr Pramod Sawnat ji , you don’t need to listen to my advice but please listen to the voices of (the) Goans. Shouldn’t Goans have some say in their own state? Is Central diktat more important than (the) Goan voices?” Kejriwal asked. Replying, Sawant said, “Our feet and ears are firmly on the ground Arvind Kejriwal ji . Please stop your divisive politics of Center vs State. We are ONE NATION! Thank you.”
As per reports, Goa residents have been protesting against the state government for allowing the expansion of a railway line through the protected areas in Mollem to increase the coal-carrying capacity of its Mormugao Port.