In Goa, fault lines widen in BJP as leaders squabble among themselves

Dayanand Sopte

The political situation in Goa continues to be in a flux. After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lured away two Congress MLAs — Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar — observers believed state politics would return to normalcy.

However, the arrival of the two ‘rebel’ Congressmen has brought the infighting in the BJP to the fore.

Former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has given vent to his ire at the two Congressmen being inducted into the saffron party without informing him.

Parsekar had lost to Sopte in the 2017 assembly election from the Mandrem constituency.

Parsekar recently criticized the BJP leadership for this move. He also criticised Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar for inducting the two Congressmen.

The infighting between Tendulkar and Parsekar has affected the party cadres and discipline. Considering that the BJP is a cadre-based party with a stress on discipline, the war of words between the two leaders has sent the wrong signal to the party rank and file.

The absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from public life is not only also affecting the administration but also the political situation in the state.

Party workers feel that situation would have been totally different if Parrikar was active. The Goa BJP cadres are also confused about the leadership.

On other hand regional parties like Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) which are coalition partners in the government are pressuring BJP leadership to assure stability of the government in the absence of CM Parrikar.

Political observers say that if the current situation persists BJP will certainly lose its credibility and face a hard time during the 2019 general elections.

In the 40-seat Goa assembly, BJP and Congress have 14 seats each; MGP, GFP and Independents have three seats each; while Nationalist Congress Party has a seat, two are vacant.

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