Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar on Sunday floated a new party in Goa and vowed to defeat the BJP in the coming Assembly polls but an unfazed BJP claimed it would be helped electorally. Announcing the formation of Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), Velingkar, who was removed as Goa RSS chief on August 31 after his public tirade against the BJP leaders over the regional language issue, said they are in talks with parties like Shiv Sena and Goa Praja Party for alliance during Goa polls.
However, Velingkar’s name did not figure in the first list of office-bearers released on Sunday. The Goa Suraksha Manch would be headed by Anand Shirodkar, a senior leader of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) headed by Velingkar who was angered by BJP government’s refusal to withdraw grants to English medium schools. The rebel RSS leader claimed the newly formed party has its presence across 35 (out of 40) constituencies of Goa and “is determined to defeat BJP in the state polls” due next year.
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BBSM has been agitating against the state government while demanding that mother tongue be made medium of instruction (MOI) and withdrawal of grants to English medium schools. Hours after Velingkar’s announcement, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, however, claimed that the new party will help BJP win the state Assembly polls due next year.
“I am in the ruling party. And it is natural that more the smaller parties, the better for the ruling party as it would help it win the election. I welcome all such new political parties,” Parsekar told reporters. Responding to a question, Parsekar said, “Goa is not my father’s land. Anyone can come here and contest the election. I can’t stop anyone”.
“This is democracy. The election results will show who is accepted by people and who are not,” he said when asked about BBSM’s statements against him and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar accusing them of “mishandling” the Medium of Instruction (MOI) issue. The chief minister said the “dwindling” response to the public meetings called by BBSM is an answer to those leaders who have been criticising the BJP.
RSS had “relieved” Velingkar as Goa Vibhag Sangh Chalak Velingkar, who then formed a parallel outfit called RSS Goa Prant. Asked about the poll stratgey, Velingkar said, “We are in talks with parties like Shiv Sena and Goa Praja Party for alliance during Goa polls. Our proposal to MGP to join hands also stands.
“If MGP responds, we can discuss seat sharing with them. But with or without MGP, we are going to defeat BJP.” He said BBSM will continue even after formation of GSM. BBSM’s political cell head Uday Bhembre told reporters that the party will also focus on various other issues like power and water in the state.