Thursday 22 February 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

What will BBSM achieve?


Can BBSM come to power by supporting MGP and independents? Can it win 21 seats?

It’s crystal clear, when Union minister Nitin Gadkari is appointed the in-charge of Goa election. It means nobody can now stop continuing the alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. The ‘close relation’ between Gadkari and MGP supremo Sudin Dhawalikar is a well-known secret. And since Dhawalikar controls the party finance, the anti-BJP feelings of the party’s central executive members have absolutely no meaning. Not even of the party president and Sudin’s younger minister brother Dipak. At the most, the MGP will get more seat share this time than 2012.

Little before the announcement about Gadkari, Goa’s RSS chief Subhash Velingkar made important announcements last week at the Vasco meeting of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch. One, the BBSM won’t support the BJP, the Congress or the Aam Aadmi Party. Because they have not supported their demand to withdraw salary grants to the Church-run English medium primary schools. Two, the BBSM would support the MGP and also some independents. The official announcement in this regard however would be made in October.

The BBSM has made Medium of Instruction an election issue. Obviously, the target is to get elected the majority number of MLAs, who support their demand to withdraw grants to the English medium private primary schools. Can they get majority by supporting the MGP? The so called pro-Marathi party has only three MLAs in the House today. Not a single survey is giving them more than six seats in the next election. Without alliance with the BJP, it is difficult to say how many seats the MGP would get. 

And today’s Assembly has five independents. This is a record in the history of Goa’s Assembly – the union territory with 30 seats till 1984 or 40 seats from 1990 onwards. It was a strong anti-Congress wave in 2012 that created this history. The voters tried to find an alternative to Congress in these independent MLAs. Some of them performed well as the opposition, but only one among the five could become the minister – Avertano Furtado. In fact three of them – Vijai Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal – have mentored a new regional outfit – the Goa Forward, having realised the limitations of being an independent.  


Has the MGP, on the other hand, supported the BBSM in its real sense? The issue started in 2011 when then Congress government led by Digambar Kamat decided to continue salary grants to the Diocesan Board schools even after they shifted from Konkani to English medium. The MGP was part of that government. Dhawalikar brothers – the only strength of the MGP - expressed dismay over the decision. But in reality, neither it opposed the decision in the cabinet nor it walked out of the government. By hoodwinking the voter, in reality, the MGP supported the decision.

Nothing different happened after the MGP shifted its alliance to the BJP in 2012 and shared power. Going against its election promise, the Manohar Parrikar-led government decided to continue the Congress policy on MoI. The MGP remained the silent partner in this decision. Neither it protested nor it walked out. In fact, its sole member in the select committee of the House – Lavoo Mamledar – toed the line of Dhawalikar brothers. Sharing power remained the priority, not the so called principled stand of imparting education only in the mother tongue.

The BBSM has made it amply clear that it would not convert itself into a political party. In that case, what is the BBSM trying to achieve by supporting this double standard MGP in the next election? Hoodwink the voters just like how the MGP fooled the voters twice on MoI issue? Also, will it support the MGP if it continues its alliance with the BJP, thanks to Gadkari? And if not, can it come to power by supporting only the independents? Can it get 21 independents elected to the Assembly? That too when 60% of Goan children are studying in English at primary level, in unaided or Diocesan schools?

The question thus is very simple. Is it a mere power game of RSS v/s BJP under the garb of MoI issue? 

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.


Good analysis. MGPs are the most opportunists in the Goa political arena, the brothers are shrewd and cunning which is obvious from the fact that they are in the ruling equation for a long time. Their early rave and rant is just a black mail to BJP to garner more seats in the alliance. They know very well, without BJP, life would be hell for them as well.

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is a journalist, presently the Editor of, Goa's oldest exclusive news website since 1996. He has earlier worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Prudent & Goa365, Goa's TV channels and Editor of Sunaparant, besides working as a reporter for Goan and national dailies & weeklies in English and Marathi since 1987. He also reports for the BBC. He is also actively involved in literary and cultural activities. After retirement from day-to-day journalism in 2020, he is into Re-Search Journalism (पुनर्सोद पत्रकारिता), focusing on analytical articles, Video programs & Books.


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