Just as the state is awaiting the discharge of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences next month, senior state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have expressed grave concern over the dissension and damage through which the party organisation in Goa has been going in the past few weeks.
These leaders strongly feel that the state core committee of the party should take charge of running the party’s local affairs on day-to-day basis in the absence of the Chief Minister in Goa.
Furthermore, unhappiness has been expressed over the recent release of the biography of state BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar, when the developments are not in favour of the party in the state.
The rationale behind getting this biography ready in 18 days and releasing it in hurry, especially when the Chief Minister is facing serious health issues, and the state BJP unit suffering from dissension and damage, is also being questioned.
Some senior leaders perceive that Tendulkar is on a self-image projection trip and wants to project his face as the next top BJP leader in Goa.
Furthermore, the presence of the estranged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Subhash Velingkar at the book release function is seen as the reunion of Tendulkar-Velingkar – the Guru-Shishya – long after Velingkar had severed all ties with the BJP, over the differences on the medium of instruction issue.
Former chief minister and member of the state BJP core committee Laxmikant Parsekar stated that the political situation in Goa vis-à-vis the BJP has come to such a level that the core committee is required to meet on daily basis, if needed at a few hours’ notice.
“However, we, the senior members of the core committee are virtually made to rot, and the core committee meets only once in a month, or once every two months, whenever our organisational secretaries, B L Santhosh or Vijay Puranik visit Goa,” he added, pointing out that people, who have given their sweat and blood for the growth of the BJP to power in the state are today, not only sidelined but outright rejected.
Parsekar also rebuffed the repeated statements made by Tendulkar that many Congress MLAs are in contact with the BJP.
“This is very despicable statement, for actually he should be saying that we are ready to sit in the Opposition, if the Congress is capable of forming the government in the state,” he observed.
Another senior state BJP leader and member of the state BJP core committee, Rajendra Arlekar said the outbursts by some of the BJP MLAs against the party is not the BJP culture and has definitely arrived from outside.
“As the party grows many people tend to join it, which is a logical occurrence,” he added, pointing out, “However, these people should not bring cultures adverse to the party along with them.”
Arlekar, who immensely contributed to the rise of the party in Goa, told this daily that the BJP organisation has already taken serious note of the ongoing indiscipline in the state unit of the party, and will not tolerate it any further.
Arlekar said the party decides what should be taken to the media as well as to the public, and what should not, which has been the functioning style of the BJP.
“The present developments are going to cause serious harm to party’s prospects as well as organisation, and its culture in Goa,” he noted, maintaining that these developments, in turn would make believe the new and young entrants to the party that BJP has been functioning in the same unruly way since its inception.
Arlekar finally stated that if anyone in the party has some grievances then he can take them to the state president of the party, who is always accessible. “Furthermore, he can also approach the organisational secretaries of the party for Goa, who visit the state from time to time, and also hold one-to-one meetings with the state leaders, local Member of Parliaments and MLAs,” he suggested, mentioning that going public over differences in the party is not the culture of the BJP.
Yet another senior member of the party, Shripad Naik, who was responsible for rooting the party in Goa, agreed that the recent outbursts from some of the party legislators are badly damaging the reputation of the party in Goa.
“I am of the strong opinion that discipline, which accorded conviction to our party and took it to the heights of power should be maintained at any cost,” the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH added, pointing out that the disorderliness on the part of some have already harmed the party enough at the local level, and could do more damage to it in the future, if the same continues unabated.
Of recent, BJP legislator from Calangute Michael Lobo has been launching salvos against his party, especially after failing to get a cabinet berth during the recent cabinet reshuffle. He even went to the extent of publicly warning the state BJP unit that it would lose both Lok Sabha seats from Goa, if the government fails to restart mining in the state.
Furthermore, another MLA of the party from Mapusa, Francis D’Souza, after his recent exclusion from the cabinet had stated that he had overstayed in the BJP, and that guests should not wait for so long.