Condemning the recent advice given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as regards keeping themselves away from the platform of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) as well as not participating in its medium of instruction agitation, BBSM leaders on Tuesday said that the u-turn made by the BJP for appeasement of minority community, would boomerang on the party during the 2017 assembly election.
Coming out with a warning that the BBSM would reveal a strategy at the right time, to snatch away the traditional votes of the BJP during the 2017 assembly election, its leaders also stated that they could even revive the petition, which challenged the cabinet decision to grant aid to primary schools teaching in English medium, that was disposed off by the High Court, after the petitioners wished to withdraw the same, following an assurance from the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
A BBSM leader Uday Bhembre, addressing a press conference, said that the BJP leadership is panic-stricken due to the fast spreading MoI agitation of the BBSM, and its inevitable threat to the BJP’s prospects at the 2017 assembly election, which is clearly seen in the election-oriented statements of Parrikar and Parsekar. Further stating that linking religion to the MoI issue is totally irrelevant, he maintained that only pedagogy and child psychology should be allowed to decide the fate of MoI issue.
BBSM leader Subhash Velingkar, who is also the state in-charge of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), said that a meeting of the heads as well as convenors of the 19 blocks of BBSM has been called on January 22 that would chalk out details about the future course of action of BBSM. “We will also distribute pamphlets by visiting door-to-door informing the people about the betrayal by the BJP, which went against its own 2012 assembly election manifesto, for ulterior political gains,” he claimed, noting that the decisive phase of the BBSM agitation would start with corner meetings around Goa, in the month of February, for spreading related public awareness and exposing the BJP.
Stating that the BJP workers, who had participated in the 2012 assembly elections by supporting the MoI issue and opposing government grants to the English primary schools are now confused at their party’s stand on the same issue, Velingkar said that these party workers would be made aware as to how BJP has turned into a “traitor”. “And then neither Parrikar, nor Parsekar would be able to salvage the situation,” he observed, stating that BBSM is not playing the politics of religion, but those who had gathered specifically Catholic MLAs and collected their signatures in support of government grants to English primary schools are the real culprits.
Arvind Bhatikar, yet another BBSM leader, said that the MoI issue would not allow any political party to come to power in Goa, after 2017 assembly election, following which the Centre would be compelled to impose President’s Rule in the state. “And then, we hope, the Governor would be able to withdraw government grants to the English primary schools, as the Centre always follows National Educational Framework, which supports primary education in one’s mother tongue,” he predicted.
A press note released on the occasion dismissed Parrikar’s new arguments about advocacy of bilingual books as “New figments of his wily imagination.”
M S Kamat, Pandurang Nadkarni, Subhash Desai, Pundalik Naik, Ratnakar Lele, and Fr Mousinho de Ataide, among others were also present at the press briefing.