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The Bharatiya Congress Party of Goa

The seeds of the Bharatiya Congress Party were sown when Mauvin Godinho and Pandurang Madkaikar were inducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prior to the 2017 Goa Assembly Elections.

The trend continued with the inclusion of Vishwajit Rane – son of veteran Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane into the BJP after the results of Goa Assembly Elections 2017 were announced.

Then BJP decided it needed to have Dayanand Sopte who defeated its former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in the BJP team and also former Goa Congress President Subash Shirodkar over its own leader Mahadev Naik.

The current 10 MLAs merging was a natural eventuality.

Chandrakant (Babu) Kavlekar and Atanasio (Babush) Monseratte are intelligent enough to know that the tide has been moving against the Congress for the last five-years.

The recent Lok Sabha 2019 results exposed the truth of the inconsequential existence of Congress in India’s political scene.

With no leadership at the Centre of the Congress and lame leadership of the Congress at state-level – wherein Goa Congress office bearers having no mettle or political acumen assume they can control or match the political machinations of the seasoned political leaders, who win irrespective of any political party ticket – it was clear decision right at the onset that merging into BJP was the only option.

In fact, if truth be told, most Congress leaders felt betrayed by the Congress leadership in particular Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and local leader Luizinho Faleiro for the debacle during the results of the Goa Assembly Elections 2017, wherein Congress was a single-largest party but Congress leadership failed to act decisively and gave the government into the hands of BJP.

They were all waiting for the right opportunity to make this move into the BJP to survive in politics. Their logic was simple – a year in opposition is acceptable but two years as opposition leaders would be socially, economically and politically disastrous for them.

Another important aspect of the draw towards BJP-ruling government is the cases against some of the MLAs such as Subash Shirodkar, Vishwajit Rane, Chandrakant Kavlekar on allegations of corruption and that off Babush Monseratte who has been accused of purchasing a minor from her mother and then raping her, because she became his personal property. He purchased the girl for Rs 50 lacs.

The cases of Shirodkar, Rane and Kavlekar might not rattle BJP in the state but the case against Babush Monseratte of raping a minor, will have people of Goa rattling BJP. This is a case that will not die.

On the part of BJP, it is a tactical and bold move. However, to me it is a morally deprived move. But on the altar of politics, often, morality is made to take a long walk.

This move will no doubt upset a lot of BJP karyakartas.

This move will also upset a lot of Goans irrespective of the political party allegiances.

This move goes against the very ethos of democracy that the people of Goa abide by and respect.

To the many in Goa I have spoken to including BJP leaders and supporters, many opine that the move is akin to BJP digging up a hole in which BJP itself is slowly going to fall into shortly.

I would have to agree with that opinion because of 17 out of the current 27 BJP MLAs are not grassroots BJP leaders and have not contributed to the strengthening of BJP in a small state of Goa.

Amit Shah was wrong in his strategy on South Goa during the Lok Sabha 2019 Elections because he was fed with inaccurate analysis on the South Goa position by leaders from Goa.

Amit Shah is wrong in this strategy of inducting these 10 MLAs into the BJP, because yet again he has been fed with the wrong information of the situation at the ground-level in Goa again by some leaders akin to pushing the interest of Congress leaders in Goa and not BJP grassroots leaders.

I see in the future the main problem will be Babush Monseratte because he is a powerhouse on his own and he does not need BJP or Amit Shah to win elections, he only needs them now, to get into a ministerial position.

The problem is simple to understand but often simple things don’t catch the eyes of big political leaders, because they get fed with half information. You don’t need a political party to win an election in Goa especially if you are a powerful grassroots leader.

Babush Monseratte won as an Independent, as a UGDP candidate and as a Congress candidate. He was even for sometime as part of the government-alliance by being an office-bearer of Goa Forward Party. And he went in and out of then, like he did not care.

Some BJP leaders outside Goa moot that Amit Shah allowed this for securing Rajya Sabha majority. I fell off my chair with this stupidity, because Goa has one Rajya Sabha seat and the Rajya Sabha candidate Vinay Tendulkar or another BJP leader would be able to win it, even in the current government structure.

BJP desperately needs to work towards creating the next-gen leaders in the state of Goa. If 17 of the BJP leaders have been imported by the Congress, where is opportunity for the next-Gen leaders from BJP in the state. What happens to those leaders who have toiled for years to aspire to a leadership position in their party? Why shatter those hopes for fair-weather political entrants in your party?

The need to capture power across India and across all states in the country is leading BJP’s master strategist Amit Shah to apply a ’snatch power at any cost, we will clean up later’ strategy.

Tainted leaders are allowed to join and a pathetic logic is shared that ’Trust Modi, Trust Shah’.

I see that as a very bad myopic and short-term view. It may gain success but eventually the integrity, ideology and principles of the BJP will be lost. I would like to believe that BJP stood for an ideology different from Congress.

I know the people of Goa. They taught Congress a lesson when they wavered. They even taught BJP a lesson when BJP took them for granted in the 2017 elections. Then yet again in South Goa Lok Sabha Elections, BJP was taught a lesson for the arrogance.

They will teach BJP and Congress both a lesson.

Until then Goa is under the leadership of the Bharatiya Congress Party.

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