BJP’s Goa dilemma

‘The only thing I like about RSS is their half-pants’, said a BJP activist in lighter vein. The BJP and Sangh Parivar can endorse Nitin Gadkari’s second term as party chief. But that will mean getting off the high moral ground on corruption, an issue on which it sought to embarrass the UPA. Ignoring the Purti episode will torpedo its main anti-Congress plank both in the forth-coming state polls and general elections in 2014.

In Goa, the Congress was accused of ineffective governance, impropriety and rampant corruption in mines and construction activity in the coastal areas violating coastal regulations. Accusations were hurled that the arrogant Digambar Kamat Congress government was encouraging the mine mafia and land sharks in Goa.

Observers believe that the BJP winning in Goa was mainly due to the negative votes and not a total support for BJP. The anti-Congress sentiment gave vent to the public anger and voted Congress out of power. And as there was no alternative, BJP gained from this resentment rather than all the people voted in favour of BJP. Though BJP is in power, all are not happy with the BJP government, especially from the minority communities. Insiders say, loud whispers are being heard against the government and a few ministers. Many are of the opinion that the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is a capable man with the right credentials to lead the government, but admit – he is the right man in the wrong party. He is progressive but his party won’t allow him much leeway.

Goans all over are not too happy with the BJP politics in Goa. Goans are open-minded and in general are progressive and forward-looking. But some of the recent BJP moves in the centre have led them to believe all that BJP is doing is not right and depriving the people of benefits rightfully theirs. Minority communities are questioning some of the BJP government’s policies and the promises made during the election campaign. However majority feel as there is no alternative and as Congress is mired in allegations of corruption, they will have to make do with BJP. The dilemma of Goa is that though Goa is ruled by BJP, you cannot be sure it is a BJP state like Gujarat endorsing the BJP point of view in toto. But one can never be too sure of Goan politics; politicians switch over sides in a jiffy and create instability as has happened earlier. This time the BJP government is to stay. Can Goa with a BJP government be a BJP state?

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