Shiv Sena and RSS rebel’s outfit join hands for Goa polls
The alliance can create trouble for the ruling BJP government that had won 21 of the 40 seats in the 2012 polls, sources saidmumbai Updated: Oct 23, 2016 00:57 IST
A new political equation is emerging in Goa with the Shiv Sena joining forces with RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar’s Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) for the upcoming Assembly elections in the coastal state. This was declared by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as he slammed ally BJP for being an “opportunist’’ during his tour of the state on Saturday.
The alliance can create trouble for the ruling BJP government that had won 21 of the 40 seats in the 2012 polls, sources said. The polls are to be held by February next year. The Congress had won 9 seats, Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) 3, Goa Vikas Party 2, and five seats were won by independent candidates in the last elections.
Velingkar was sacked from the RSS for running a campaign against BJP government after its decision to continue grants to some 140 church-run English medium schools. He was of the view that encouraging English-medium schools will affect regional-language schools .
Velingkar then formed a political outfit that worked towards protecting the regional language and the Sena said it will support the party for the cause of the language. The GSM has already declared it will contest 20 seats, half the strength of the Goa assembly, while Sena is likely to contest the remaining seats.
The Sena president said Marathi language is like a mother to them and Konkani an aunt. “The Sena and Konkan share a strong relationship. We will go ahead by having an alliance with Velingkar. Sena will come to power in Goa,” he said.
Meanwhile, calling the BJP an opportunist, Thackeray said, “Once it gets elected to power, the BJP turns blind. It could not see anything when it was in the government. For them (BJP), Sena is a friend, but only when they need so. Otherwise, they treat us as the enemy.”
Thackeray also said the party did a mistake by letting the BJP grow in Goa . He then took on defence minister Manohar Parrikar, a former chief minster of the state, for crediting RSS teachings for the successful surgical strike by the Indian Army. He said that the teachings of RSS have always been good, but we should not undervalue the bravery of our army jawans.
Reacting to this, state BJP president Raosaheb Danve said that Sena has all the right to contest polls in other states as it is an independent outfit. In the past too, Sena has contested in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,” Danve told.
Uddhav also urged Sena leaders to start opening shakhas (branches) in every village. “You start opening shakhas in every village. The party will stand with you. I will follow the same methods I have been implementing in Mumbai. I will personally come and visit the village where you start a shakha,” Uddhav told party workers.
‘Shiv Sena our natural ally’
Responding to Thackeray’s barbs, Raosaheb Danve, Maharashtra BJP president, said they consider Sena as its natural ally and they are willing to have alliance in the coming local body polls in Maharashtra but Sena need to demand seats considering its strength. “We consider Sena as natural ally of BJP. We have been contesting elections together since 25-30 years and the last Maharashtra assembly polls is an exception to it. We again want to contest upcoming local body polls along with Sena but the seat sharing formula needs to be “respectable” in nature,” Danve told reporters. The state chief further added they have authorized district committees of the party to take decision in relation to alliance. “However, Sena should also demand seats considering its strength. Where the demand of seats was not found reasonable both the parties will go solo,” he said hinting their preparedness to contest polls on its own.