Shiv Sena on Saturday announced its in-principle approval to forge a pre-poll alliance with rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), for the election to the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly to be held next year. “In-principle, we have decided to fight the election in an alliance. It would be a seat-sharing agreement. The details of seat sharing would be discussed later,” Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said after emerging from the meeting with Velingkar.
Thackeray and Velingkar held a meeting at a five-star resort near here to formally discuss the alliance. The Sena chief said both the parties share similar ideology, which prompted them to think about joining hands.
Responding to questions, Velingkar ruled out that the GSM was his attempt to venture into politics. “I have no political aspirations. I will not be contesting election. The party is formed for the cause,” he said.
“BJP completely betrayed people on the issue of the medium of instruction (MoI). Now, we want to ensure that BJP is thrown out of power, that is why we are in the fray. We are sure of winning several seats considering the response that we receive during our visits,” he added.
Velingkar, an RSS veteran in Goa, was given the marching orders on August 31 after Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), of which he is a convener, expressed its intention to contest the 2017 Assembly elections against BJP.
Velingkar was removed by RSS after he took a strident stance against the ruling BJP over the issue of medium of instruction and even showed black flags to the party chief Amit Shah at Bambolim during his visit there on August 20.
Thereafter, Velingkar had announced his plans to float a new political outfit to take forward the cause of regional languages such as Konkani and Marathi as Medium of Instruction (MOI) and against the state government’s policy of supporting English medium schools.
On October 2, Velingkar floated GSM and vowed to defeat the BJP in the coming Assembly polls.
BBSM has been vociferously opposing grants to English medium schools in Goa and led agitations against the Laxmikant Parsekar government demanding that primacy be given to Marathi and Konkani languages as the medium of instruction (MoI) in schools.
Shiv Sena had earlier announced support to Velingkar, stating that the party was ready to join hands with him if he launches a political party to contest the Goa Assembly polls scheduled early next year.