Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar announces plunge into electoral politics

Panaji, Nov 12 (IANS): In what could be a worrying sign for the Goa BJP, former state RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, an arch rival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Sunday announced his plunge into electoral politics.

The announcement comes at a time when the the state BJP as well as the BJP-led coalition government in Goa are facing immense flak over the continuance of ailing Parrikar as Chief Minister despite being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer for the last nine months.

“I will be actively working for the Goa Suraksha Manch,” Velingkar told reporters in Panaji.

Asked if he would be contesting the upcoming by-polls in Goa’s Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies which have been necessitated due to resignations of Congress MLAs from both seats, Velingkar said the decision would be taken at “the appropriate time”.

He also said that considering the political chaos in the state, following Parrikar’s illness and comfortable numbers in the Assembly still eluding the BJP, the Goa Assembly would be dissolved and fresh polls would be announced in Goa along with Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Velingkar, 66, has served as the state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief for more than two decades and is considered responsible for the political grooming of the state BJP’s top leaders including Parrikar, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik and former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

He was sacked from the RSS in 2016 after he took on Parrikar, who Velingkar accused of backstabbing the principles of both the Sangh as well as BJP.

Velingkar later founded and mentored the Goa Suraksha Manch, a right-wing conservative political party which considers the BJP its key rival.

Source: IANS

“Power-Hungry BJP Leadership Not Allowing Manohar Parrikar Rest”: Ex-RSS Leader And GSM Head Subhash Velingkar

PANJIM, GOA: As BJP’s oldest ally in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, stepped up pressure for a “temporary replacement” for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar till he recovers, former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, on Wednesday, said that the Chief Minister’s sickness is taking a turn for the worse as “unwarranted pressure” is being put on him by the central BJP leaders to resume office.

“Unfortunately, the BJP high command is putting unnecessary pressure on him, when he clearly needs more rest to be completely fit. The Centre, by hook or crook, wants Goa to remain a BJP stronghold and hence forcing him to resume office. This is worsening his current health condition,” Mr Velingkar told reporters in Panjim.

“The Centre should have got a substitute chief minister as long as Manohar Parrikar is not getting well… I don’t think this Goa government will survive if things go on like this. It will be dissolved soon,” said the former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief.

The Goa BJP chief, Vinay Tendulkar dismissed Mr Velingkar’s comments. He said, the party high command is not forcing Parrikar to continue in the chair. “His health condition is improving now and he will resume office in November,” said Mr Tendulkar.

The former state RSS chief also hit out at the BJP, saying the party was “no more a party of ideology”. “The elected representatives don’t have anything to do with the party’s ideology. They have imported leaders from other parties. The loyal cadre is disturbed. In the next election, the BJP will be completely wiped out from the state,” he claimed.

Dismissing Mr Velingkar’s claims on ideology, Mr Tendulkar said, “Whosoever is in the party is because he or she believes in our ideology.”

Mr Parrikar returned to Goa on October 15, after he was discharged from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, where was undergoing treatment for over a month, for a pancreatic ailment.

The MGP chief, Dipak Dhavalikar, yesterday said that the people of Goa are suffering as the state administration had collapsed due to the long absence of the Chief Minister from his office. “Since Mr Parrikar is recuperating at home, he should hand over the charge to any of the senior ministers till he recovers,” Mr Dhavalikar told news agency PTI.

“Every day, we have to pacify people who come to our doorstep complaining that the state administration has collapsed. What shall we tell them?” Mr Dhavalikar said.

The MGP chief’s statement comes even as Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar maintained that there will be no change in leadership in the state.

Citing the Chief Minister’s ill-health, the Congress party has been demanding that they be allowed to form the government in Goa.

On September 17, the Congress, along with 14 legislators in the 40-member state assembly, submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, urging her to invite them to form the government.

Even as the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party, in the fractured verdict in Assembly elections in March 2017, two lawmakers last week had resigned from the party, reducing its strength from 16 to 14 in the 40-member House.

The Manohar Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 lawmakers in the Assembly, 14 of the BJP, three each from the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the MGP and three Independent legislators.

RSS sets sight on YMCA properties worth billions, tries to illegally amend its constitution

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, under the leadership of Indresh Kumar, member of RSS’ National Executive, has been attempting to rewrite the constitution of the National Council of YMCAs of India in cahoots with the office bearers of the Council.

The Council was one of the organisers of the United Christmas & New Year Celebrations held on January 9, 2018, at the NDMC Convention Hall, where Kumar was the chief guest and Archbishop Anil J Couto was one of the guests of honour.

This was not the only time Kumar and the office bearers of the Council had been collaborating. In Feb 2017, the Council organised an event with RSS affiliates – Gau Raksha Manch, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Dharma Sanskriti Manch, Himalaya Pariwar, Rashtriya Ekta Mission, Jai Bharat Manch and Yuva Abhivakthi Manch – to promote culture of oneness, peace, unity and development.

At this event Kumar was the chief guest and Lebi Philip Mathew, President of the Council, was one of the special guests.

The Annual Report of the YMCA states that in 2016 the Council had rganised a session with Kumar at YMCA, in which they say “history was created when an initiative was taken on the request of Indresh Kumar to facilitate an open session with the ecumenical and Christian organisations on May 16, 2016. The session began with an exquisite rendition of Vande Mataram”.

In the same report, the office bearers of the Council laud themselves for “making the impossible possible”.  They allude to the importance of the meeting because the country was in the election mode and YMCA had considerable presence in the two states (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). Kerala had 440 and Tamil Nadu 128 YMCA-affiliated centres. The annual report goes on to add that “the huge attendance was all for hearing the man (Indresh Kumar) who would mesmerise them in a jaw-dropping session.

It was with a view to fostering brotherhood, peace and harmonious existence. In the Annual Report of 2016, the Council mentions that they have begun a Sir George Williams Education Institute to offer courses, keeping in mind the Prime Minister’s Kaushal Bharat flagship programme, while embracing Stand Up India, skill development, Startup India and Digital India missions.

Soon after in 2017, the Council had sent their proposed amendments of the Constitution to all the YMCAs in the country. It included proposals to include the Prime Minister’s skill development programme in rural India into one of the clauses of the Constitution, altering the original statement which was to promote agricultural practices and help marginal farmers to improve farming methods and outputs. Another proposed objective is to increase mobilisation and motivation of rural people in achieving wider participation in decision-making at different levels of the development process.

This was never a part of the YMCA Constitution.

The RSS, which has been attempting to set up reach-out programmes to influence even the farthest Christian voter, is hoping to do so through the YMCA. Mathew has been stating that India needs at least 10,000 YMCAs instead of the 700-odd institutions currently, even more than America, which has around 9,000-odd YMCAs. But, due to a restriction in the YMCA Constitution, they have not been able to expand.

The Constitution states that only one YMCA can exist in a city/town/municipality/Panchayat/Corporation.

The amendment states that every Gram Panchayat can have one YMCA, in a municipality there can be three and in a corporation, four. In another proposed amendment, the Council, to ensure minimum resistance to their plans, states that the National Executive shall meet only twice a year, when earlier they were required to meet thrice in a year.

To enable this transition and consolidation of power of all the YMCAs with the National Council, the current president has also brought in the amendment that the tenure of the president will be for a maximum of eight years, that is two terms of four years each, and this change will be counted from the Quadrennial Convention of 2018. Earlier, a president could serve
only for six years, that is two terms of three years each.

The proposed amendment ensures that Mathew will remain the president for another eight years and his previous three will not be counted.

They have also stated that extension of the term of the National General Secretary will be the prerogative of the National Executive, when earlier it was necessary to constitute a search committee to search for a suitable National Secretary from the national roster of secretaries.

Here is where it becomes interesting, because the current National General Secretary, RP Manikumar, has been accused of appropriating funds from the Hyderabad YMCA. There is a case in the Hyderabad High Court against him under Sections 191 (false evidence), 192, 196, 199 (defamation), 203, 418 (cheating), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security and will). It has been alleged that he misappropriated funds even while he was the general secretary at the Nalgonda YMCA.

But, what got most of the regional YMCAs to come together to file a case against the amendment was the clause inserted by the Council that ‘all the properties, movable and immovable, in the possession of the said YMCA will be under the custody of the Central Trust’. The Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Ahmedabad YMCAs filed a case against the National Council of YMCAs at the
Delhi High Court to stay the amendment.

They were able to get the stay because the Council had flouted the rules of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, under which it has been registered.To pass any changes, the Council is required to convene a special general body meeting and submit the proposition to the members of the society. The proposition has to be agreed to by the votes of three-fifths of the members delivered in person or by proxy at the second meeting and confirmed by three-fifths of the members at the third meeting.

The general body consists of a member from each of the YMCAs in the country and it is this body which has to deliberate on the proposed amendments. The current Council hadn’t followed these rules. Once the amendment was stayed, the Council was forced to hold a general body meeting and it was scheduled at Thiruvananthapuram on December 15, 2017. The meeting ended in a fist fight between the national leaders and a few regional leaders who were opposed to the issue of control of the regional YMCAs.

It was alleged that the Council had even employed bouncers to threaten the regional leaders. As per the HC order, Justice Rekha Sharma, was to be appointed as the arbitrator in the case.These fisticuffs drew severe criticism from the president and general secretary of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Peter Posner and Rev Johan Vilhelm Eltvik. They have directed Mani Kumar to provide them with an explanation of the incidents of violence during the December 15, 2017, meeting and have instructed them to postpone the procedure of any amendment at this time.

Source: The National Herald