Wed, 26 Jun, 2019

Goa’s saffron dilemma

Will the outcome of the 2 Lok Sabha seats, and the 4 bypolls be the turning point of Pramod Sawant’s political career? Or will it turn the tide for the Congress in Goa?

15th April 2019, 03:33 Hrs

If the BJP in Goa is exultant over the latest round of coups affected to bolster its strength in the state assembly, it has all the more reasons to be weary of the ‘achievement’. 

The current modus operandi where the new CM has shown no inhibitions in ‘poaching’ member legislators from his allies in the present government to fortify the party’s position in the ruling-coalition points to an unethical political trend which will consequently have a bearing on the ties forged. 

With the associates perennially on the look-out for treacherous moves by the major partner in the government, the trust-quotient, or the lack of it, will eventually turn out to be a principal factor that will hamper good governance. 

Moreover, the new CM has given suggestions of being a political novice when it comes to allaying apprehensions among allies in a diplomatic manner over moves that have gone against the coalition-dharma. 

With off-the-cuff remarks about BJP ‘shutting’ the doors on Goa Forward MLAs who ever entertain thoughts of migrating to the Saffron-side at any time in future, it was apparent that he was cautioning the wily politician that the GFP Supremo is against being too complacent about the solidarity among his legislators.With the sort of turbulence that is evident in the state unit of the BJP in Goa, such concealed threats will only embolden the GFP chief to pull the rug from under the feet of the CM when the opportunity presents itself.

Although politicians owing allegiance to various parties swear by the dictum ‘united we stand, divided we fall’, engineering defections within political dispensations hasn’t been all that difficult either. 

Goa, for that matter, has been a fair-ground for shysters who have rampantly indulged in ‘creating’ political collaborations which have seen the most unlikeliest of partners joining hands to arrive at a power-sharing formula. 

While in most cases the credit for the ‘setting’ goes to regional leaders, in more recent times the ‘high command’ of the parties involved have played stellar roles in giving finishing touches to the essay.  

Without dwelling much on the deceit of ’17 where the results of the government-formation was presented in the public domain as a fait accompli, the role of a regional kingpin in hijacking the popular mandate will go down as a blotch in the history of 


Having decided to pull out of the ruling coalition, the challenges from the over-ambitious MGP appears to be quelled for the time being. However, smarting from the daring midnight snatch from under its nose, MGP is for all purposes intent on making life not all that comfortable for BJP in the state.

Although MGP has refrained from contesting the LS polls, it has extended support to candidates of the Opposition Congress. A case of grapes gone sour! But, against all considerations, when accommodations are being made for its new entrants into the BJP-fold by the party-leadership to ensure their unstinted support, the government could lose its credibility over such ‘appropriations’. 

Furthermore, Shylocks that they are, ‘imports’ who have made it into the party-fold purely on their bargaining strengths will never desist from demanding their pound of flesh for having ‘committed’ their allegiance to BJP. 

Hence the news that the Goa government has extended the retirement age for doctors working in its institutions from 60 to 62 does not come as big surprise considering that the tourism minister, who also happens to be one of two Dy CMs, had ‘requested’ an extension for his brother. 

Does this government have time to pursue its own agendas without the fear of the unrealistic demands of its own ‘constituents’ impeding it at every stage? Will it at every juncture be embroiled in appeasing measures to sustain itself?

The sympathy-factor has always had an overwhelming effect on the electorate with the political parties showing no hesitation in cashing-in on the sentiments of the people on a particular issue of a particular time.

With the BJP having zeroed down on Parrikar’s son Utpal to take forward the legacy, Ponjekars as has been rightly suggested, will be at a loss to differentiate between ‘legacies’ and ‘dynasties’.

The BJP’s unquestioned hold over the Panjim seat for over two decades, and the mood prevalent now, may allow the party to retain the seat with such a ploy. But in the long run, if the new incumbent does not match the expectations of the people, there is every chance that BJP will rue a hasty decision. And all this when the saffron brigade has a worthy successor to Parrikar in 


Now with May 19th being announced for the Panaji bypoll, it gives the parties just about a week after the state goes to polls on the 23rd to finalize their candidates for the next big battle. 

All eyes will definitely be on the Mapusa bypolls as well where the BJP, assuming that just ‘invoking’ the name of the departed leader would perform miracles for the party at the hustings, has fielded Francis D’Souza’s son as its candidate. 

But all said and done, along with the two LS seats, the outcome of the four bypolls will be the turning point of his political career for the new CM. On the other hand, will the absence of Parrikar turn the tide for the Congress in Goa which has gone from one humiliation to the other since 2017?

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