The Upcoming Goa polls will be a fresh check to the stature of BJP in the state after multiple defections in the last 5 years. Since the entry of BJP in the state of Goa, it will be the first time when BJP’s master strategist and political leader for Goa, former Defence Minister, Late Manohar Parrikar won’t be there.
He was the leader behind BJP going from 0 seats and 1.21% votes in 1984 to 21 seats and 34.68 % votes in 2012. The saffron party IITian leader made sure that BJP was accepted despite the high number of Catholic voters. But, his death has made a difference. Mr Parrikar joined the RSS at a young age. He became its chief instructor in his later years of schooling. Late CM Manohar Parrikar ensured complete discipline in the party and cleverly crafted a system to create a divide in the opposition like MGP, GFP, Congress, and independents.
The 3 Distinct camps of BJP in Goa:
The departure of late Goa CM Manohar Parrikar has kept the BJP divided in the state of Goa. There are three distinct camps of BJP in Goa. The power broker group consists of 3 leaders that include BJP Goa Organization General Secretary Satish Dhond, CM Dr Pramod Sawant, and BJP Goa President Sadanand Shet Tanavade.
The second one is the Parrikar camp and lastly, the members who have joined BJP from other political parties like Congress and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). The latter ones shall possibly be the first ones to leave the party when there is a change of power in the state.
Now, the exit of Parrikar’s son Utpal has created a confusing state of power.
The New Age power tussle:
There is a new age power tussle in Goa BJP between the traditional party loyalists and the next generation leaders irrespective of their past political associations. Former Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar fielded two independent Zila Parishad candidates. They won against official BJP candidates. Also, He has resigned from the party and would be contesting the upcoming polls as an independent candidate.
Even Utpal Parrikar has resigned from the party and would be contesting as an Independent candidate. He desired to contest the elections from his late father’s constituency, but BJP denied it. After his resignation, he revealed in his first interview that the party is not the one built by his father. He has no hostilities towards the BJP at the centre but, with the management and actions by the party in Goa. Utpal Parrikar shall contest the elections against the BJP candidate.
After the death of CM Parrikar, a by-election was held for the Panaji seat that he held for 25 years. In the by-elections, his rival Babush Monserrate won as a Congress candidate. He is a rape accused who later joined the BJP and shall now again contest from the Panaji seat.
The distinction between Old BJP and New-age BJP in Goa:
In Goa, initially, BJP entered the state and politically usurped the vote base of MGP, and even broke the majority of INC forming a government. The second innings began with the entry of Manohar Parrikar in power. The third innings or the post-Parrikar Innings includes the trio that is following the Parrikar way by inducing strong winnable candidates and replacing the old ones.
But, an important difference is that Parrikar kept a vital control on the candidates and the new entrants were blended with the existing ones. This aspect is lacking in the New Age Goa BJP. As a result, there has been an internal conflict in the BJP since 2016.
Despite Congress emerging as the single largest political party in Goa during the last elections, BJP managed to establish a government with Alliances. Even the defections ensured that the party increased its seats in the Assembly. However, this new trend has stirred an internal conflict in the BJP. There are several power centres including traditionally loyal party members, power brokers, new members, and Parrikar loyalists. The resignation of Utpal Parrikar can arouse the traditional party loyalists who can vote against the party.
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