Tuesday 18 June 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Society | Education

Will CM succeed in shutting mouths of his ministers on MoI?


Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has told his ministers to shut their mouths on the controversial issue of Medium of Instruction and uphold the government stand.

It thus establishes the fact that the Parsekar cabinet is not unanimous on the stand taken by the BP-led coalition government.

And it became obvious with Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar playing RSS tune on the MoI issue, by strongly opposing the government decision to continue grants to 136 Church-run English primary schools.

“No matter what personal opinion you have, I have told by cabinet colleagues not to express it publicly”, Parsekar today told the media after the cabinet meeting.

The irony of the whole issue is that Parsekar himself repeatedly says that his ‘personal opinion’ is that primary education should be only in mother tongue and government should give grants only to the Konkani and Marathi medium schools.

“But withdrawing ‘wrong’ decision of the Congress government is not the ‘right’ solution to resolve the MoI issue”, he claimed today.

The irony is that Arlekar repeated what the BP had assured to the electorate in 2012 election while what Parsekar (and earlier ex-CM Manohar Parrikar) decided is what the Congress said while continuing grants to Church-run schools.

“We are not Congress. We should be unanimous in expressing our opinion, in tune with what the government decides”, feels Parsekar, who strongly objects to the opinion of Arlekar.

Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado has also objected to what Arlekar said, while supporting grants to Church-run schools.

“I have told both of them that they should not express their personal opinions in public”, said the chief minister.


Soon after the joint press briefing by CM and Deputy CM, Francis D’Souza (DyCM) came out and played yet another tune.

“I personally feel that medium should be the choice of the parents and grants should be given to all. If not today, tomorrow we will reach this conclusion”, he said.

But CM interprets his statement in his own style:

“Choosing medium is the choice of the parents. Similarly, giving grants is the choice of the government. Permission to schools is different from giving grants.”

It appears that all the cabinet ministers, on the issue of MoI, are playing to the gallery (of their vote banks) rather than being sincere to their ‘personal’ views.

It is clear that Arlekar has joined hands with his parent organisation – RSS, which had internally supported his candidature for the CM’s post after Parrikar resigned and later also demanded education portfolio to him, when he resigned as the speaker to become a minister.

Perhaps this is the reason Congress spokesperson Agnelo Fernandes today alleged that both the BJP and the RSS are fooling the people on MoI issue.

According to him, the BJP is deliberately creating this confusion to gain political mileage.

When elections are round the corner, it is thus a big question mark whether the ‘individuals’ in the cabinet will restrain themselves from expressing their ‘personal’ opinions on the MoI issue and commit political suicide!

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