‘Peoples’ Assembly’ awaits Goa CM prior to Monsoon Session

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BJP workers, loyalists to question CM, state party president over induction of Cong MLAs

Panjim (Goa): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa might have made its position firm in the 40-member Assembly after 10 Congress MLAs walked into their party fold taking the party’s individual strength in the House to 27. On the other hand, at the organisational and grassroots level, things seem to be crumbling with every passing hour.

“Since the news of the merger was out, I have been constantly getting calls from several BJP workers asking me about the exact logic behind such a decision. I must admit that at this moment the local unit of the party is proceeding on a totally incorrect path,” opined ex-Speaker and senior BJP leader Rajendra Arlekar.

Many BJP workers have questioned the necessity to accept the 10 Congress MLAs into its party fold, when actually the government was enjoying majority without any threat. Some old time BJP loyalists have expressed their suffocation to continue in the party, which now they feel is filled more with Congressmen than their own cadre.

“During Assembly elections we toiled day in and out to ensure our candidate’s victory. To an extent that we went door to door trying to convince how bad the Congress candidate’s previous record of accomplishment had been. Now, the same person has been respectfully included into our party fold, with what face should we approach the people in our ward again,” said a BJP worker on condition of anonymity who had worked for BJP candidate Sidharth Kuncalienker in recently held Assembly polls in former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar’s Panjim constituency against then Congress candidate Babush Monserrate.

The move to induct these 10 MLAs was kept under such a tight wrap that some of the ruling ministers were totally caught unaware. “I was not aware about this move of the party. When the CM is back from Delhi, we will have to check what resulted into this development”, said Power Minister, Nilesh Cabral.

Some of the Yuva Morcha members openly expressed their anguish against this move by the party higher ups through various social media platforms. While some wrote that this step is certainly not towards ‘Congress-mukt Goa’ but rather it is ‘Congress-yukt BJP’, many others termed it as ‘murder of democracy’.

“In today’s scenario, we were already feeling lost. This has assured us that the BJP we supported because of Manohar Parrikar, is merely a replica of the Congress, within months of his sad demise. I have repeatedly said that Goa BJP needs new leadership at the organisation level and today, I stand vindicated. It is time we identify traitors within the party and hunt them down,” wrote Griraj Pai Vernekar, a former close aide of ex-Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar on his Facebook page.

The 10-day Monsoon Session of the State Assembly, which commences from Monday might be an easy sailing for the Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, as far as new strength of the party stands in the House. But, outside the Assembly, the CM along with the party’s state unit president Vinay Tendulkar will have to do much of talking in an attempt to stop the growing dissent among the party cadres and senior BJP leaders. Only time will tell, whether state government’s stability reflects into party’s organisational stability too.

(Edited by Prashant Hamine and written by Sumeet Naik)

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