Wed, 11 Dec, 2019

Goa’s politics & the sad state of affairs

With the ‘use and discard’ principle very much in evidence, it is difficult to say what drastic turns politics in the state will take

Story: PACHU | MENON | 02nd December 2019, 02:14 Hrs

PACHU MENON


This is not Goa, this is Maharashtra. If something wrong is done here, we will teach those people a lesson!”

Referring to BJP forming governments in Goa and Manipur without having the requisite numbers, Sharad Pawar’s warning to the saffron party in the wake of the ‘Maha Drama’ exuded the confidence of a leader who just will not take things 

lying down.

For one to have such a temperament, it requires years of dedicated work at the grassroots level and the wherewithal to withstand the intrigues of modern-day politics that is unfortunately bereft of ethics that is so very essential for a democracy to survive.

A past master of the game himself, he showed rare glimpses of the political acumen he is renowned for and made it very evident that age has not retarded the manipulative skills which earned him rich dividends in the past.

However, when Goa is being proffered as an apt example of BJP’s unscrupulous politicking and shenanigans in coalitions it is associated with to explain the mass exoduses, albeit induced, from opposition camps; it is necessary that one understands the complexities involved and comprehends the (dirty) level of politics played out in Goa as well.

For that matter, it is time the saffron party realized that in politics the ‘carrot and stick’ approach as a negotiation tactic cannot always be relied upon to induce the desired behaviour among opponents.

Very much, as in the days gone by, the consigliere settled business disputes for Mafia families by ‘making an offer that could not be refused’; the game of politics has become more intricate than that with similar ruses being applied to entice members of the opposition. Politics is more of convenience than compulsions now. Or better still, opportuneness coming out of necessities that is the driving force behind present-day power games.

It is in this context that the ‘migration’ of the group of ten from the Congress party into the BJP fold in Goa needs to be seen. A need to rise out of the petty quibbles that characterized politics dished out by regional players to strengthen their base as against the circumventing of more pressing issues that assailed the state at large saw the BJP in Goa affecting a coup of sorts which in turn helped the party shed its ‘surplus’ load of prop-ups.

Reduced as they are to mere caricatures of insignificant opposition, the BJP is now in a comfort zone thanks to the defection engineered in the Congress. But lest the ‘deserters’ forget, they are that expediency for the BJP which comes with the comfort of knowing that it will never have to face a litmus test over any delicate matter in future.

However, at times such ‘conveniences’ can be overlooked as well!

This is precisely what BJP Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy meant when during a lecture in South Goa recently, he said that the ‘situation’ in the coastal state where ‘new people’ joined the BJP and were appointed ministers was temporary and the disillusioned party cadre would get their due soon.

With the ‘use and discard’ principle very much in evidence, it is difficult to say what drastic turns politics in the state will take.

It is however assured that the ‘most favoured’ in the current order of things in the ruling dispensation will continue to have the Damocles’ sword permanently hanging over their heads, making many wonder whether they will end up paying a big price for their betrayal.

Meanwhile, with any visible sign of effective governance continuing to evade the state, the powers that be need to understand that being seen here, there and everywhere is definitely not an idea of sensible administration.

The CM in the meantime is presented with a golden opportunity to have his name etched permanently in the history of the state’s progress and development. However, the indecisiveness to address various issues which has Goemkarponn written all over it continues to haunt the Pramod Sawant government in Goa. The manner in which the mining resumption and the Mhadei river issue have been handled leaves much to be desired.

With inter-ministerial tiffs and rivalries increasing by the day, the CM has also been conspicuous by his inability to rein in errant ministers and his cabinet colleagues over irregularities observed. While critics are demanding the streamlining of various matters of regional importance, a lack of political suaveness seems to have afflicted various departmental heads. With most of the contentious issues assailing the state piling up in the courts of law, it is as if their fate is best left to providence.

Holding out false promises has been a politician’s forte. But in Goa, this trait has been taken to unhealthy ends. Just as the dates which have assumed significance in matters of litigation in the country, the BJP ensemble in Goa is famous for the ‘time frames’ proffered in all matters contentious.

While finding it cumbersome to arrive at solutions to impossible problems, the government has nevertheless been unfaltering in holding out much hope to those thousands who still find such promises very sweet to the ears when pledged coated with sugar and honey. Goa, however, continues to be in the throes of cataclysmic problems fiscal in nature which, if not attended to immediately, will have shattering effects on the economy of the state.

Rising prices, unemployment, garbage issues and the unchecked downslide of the state’s fiscal lifelines have already played hell with its economy. Yet the government refuses to face facts and seek ‘reconciliatory’ measures to bring it back on tracks.

The present ruling dispensation in Goa is an assortment of powerful leaders who are all individually capable of stemming the rot and getting the state out of the rut that it currently finds itself in. Yet the marked hesitation shown towards working together as a cohesive unit has been its undoing!

With the steady ‘influx’ of members from various parties into its folds, the BJP- government in Goa today boasts of members who have for long subscribed to a particular ideology but now find themselves embracing a political culture that is alien to them.

Nevertheless, as the leader of an ideologically divergent group, it is for the CM to marshal his resources well.

As for those ‘migrants’ who have pledged their undying and unswerving loyalty to the saffron party, only time will tell if their acts have gone down well with the masses. It is for them to make the most of this opportunity and usher in refreshing wafts of progress and development in their respective constituencies.

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