Let the MGP 'Lion' die

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
22 January 2012 14:00 IST

It was a tactical mistake of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to have an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1994. A similar mistake the BJP is committing today, by trying to have an alliance with the MGP. Both the alliances were for short term gains, having long term adverse effect on Goan polity.

The MGP did gain 12 seats in 1994 poll, with only four seats for the BJP. But by 1999 election, the MGP was pushed down to only four seats. The BJP, while snapping alliance talks with the MGP last minute in 1999 election, gained 10 seats by going alone. Since then, the MGP is surviving on two seats for the last two consecutive elections. Sudin Dhawalikar and Pandurang Madkaikar in 2002 and Dhawalikar brothers – Sudin and Dipak – in 2007.

What is MGP? It’s basically a conglomeration of Bahujan Samaj, especially from Hindu community, brought together by Maharashtra’s Congress and Socialist leaders soon after liberation, to counter the upper caste dominated ‘feudal’ Congress of Goa. The toiling Bahujan Samaj wanted to merge Goa into Maharashtra, calling itself a ‘Marathi’ state, so that ‘land to the tiller’ policy of Maharashtra’s Congress government would end the continuing Bhatkarshai. The agenda was good and necessary; but the means were wrong – Maharashtrawad and Marathi. Thus the Maharashtrawadi lost the battle in Opinion Poll of 1967 and official language battle in 1987. But achieved its land ownership agenda by running its own government for 17 years – 1963 to 1980.

Bhausaheb Bandodkar, the only visionary chief minister till date, had realized that the role of MGP is over, after he lost the Opinion Poll. Some political analysts have written that he had almost decided to merge the MGP into Congress, but it did not happen due to his sudden death. His daughter Shashikala Kakodkar did it after losing election to the Congress in 1980. In fact five MGP MLAs even joined the Congress, but Ramakant Khalap and Babuso Gaonkar refused and kept the MGP alive.

Since then, the MGP has served the state only as the opposition party. Shashikala came back to the MGP after losing the second battle of official language, but the party could never come back to power. The only exception was a brief period of nine months, when seven Congressmen revolted against Pratapsing Rane’s leadership in 1990 and formed a coalition government – Progressive Democratic Front – with the MGP. Otherwise, the MGP continued as a ‘workshop’ of Congress, supplying them young leaders of Bahujan Samaj.

The MGP could never create new voter while its traditional committed voter was dying every day. It had no agenda, no programme, no loyal leadership and no loyal voter. The BJP took full advantage of the situation to push its Hindutva agenda in the minds of youngsters of ‘MGP families’ while filling the vacuum of anti-Congress leadership. The highly confused and compromising MGP lost completely on this count and became a defunct party.

In 1999 election, the one-time ruling party lost deposits in 17 places out of 31 it contested with only 14 per cent votes. Only four seats they won – Ramakant Khalap, Pandurang Raut, Prakash Velip and Sudin Dhawalikar. Except Sudin, all three have quit the MGP today – Khalap in Congress, Raut in NCP and Velip in the BJP. In 2002, the ‘Lion’ lost deposit in 20 constituencies out of 25 it contested with only seven per cent votes. Won only two seats – Sudin, who is still with the MGP and Pandurang Madkaikar, who got elected as Congress MLA. In last election, the saga continued by losing deposit in 19 places out of 26 and gaining (?) only nine per cent votes. The MGP became party of Dhawalikar brothers – Sudin and Dipak – as MLAs.

Today, the party is desperate to save its recognition and its ‘precious’ symbol Lion by trying to win three seats and eight per cent votes. It has no ideology of any kind. That’s the reason its leaders, as dealers, can shamelessly remain as part of the Congress government and hold alliance talks with the opposition BJP. Except money power of Dhawalikars, the party has nothing, neither the traditional voter base nor nuisance value that could damage prospects of any candidates, except a place like Ponda. To try and defeat Ravi Naik, both the parties can very well have a seat adjustment. But definitely not an alliance.

In fact, the MGP needs to die. So does the UGDP. It could then give birth to a completely new regional outfit rather than living on false hopes like the MGP or the UGDP, which are nothing but the dealers and suppliers for both – the Congress and the BJP. The ‘two leaves’ died long ago. The death of ‘Lion,’ whom majority Goans loved at one time, could raise a new hope, for a new party with regional aspirations and regional agenda with global outlook. Goa needs one such party; desperately!

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is the Editor of goanews.com. He has been earlier the Editor of Sunaparant (Konkani daily) and Editor-in-Chief of Pruden (TV channel). His collection of selective editorials of Sunaparant has been published as 'Goff'. He writes brief thoughts as EdiThought for goanews.com, but not on regular basis.

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Previous Comments

where is MGP party it was long dead ,the existing party is sudinwadi dhavlikar party .goa badly needs a regional party representing the asperation of bahujan samaj which has lost on allfronts and vanishing from political scenario also .hence you requre a Bahujanwadi gomantak party(BGP ) to replace MGP and with little effort it will surely be relevant in local politics

- pradeep, ponda | 31 st January 2012 14:17

 

Dear all the responders to the above subject.

Pls somebody if they know the inside politics answer me concerning the 2 MGP & UGDP which were lnked to the central parties why congress had tie up with them why the disqaulification on 2 MGP MLA's and 2 save goa MLA's no verdit from the biased congress speaker Mr Rane . What happend with the crores of amount to be paid by churchill bros as fines. Every body is this election or other wise palying for thier own gains. Leave all the party politics to themselves and elect the right candidates things will change don't go for teh party it is up to all goans to take all the bribes inform of gifts, money and favours and vote with their consience but get rid of all those currupt ministers and also those MLA's who sell themselves. Let the lion eat the hand, leaves and let the strongest that is the the public survive instead of selling themselves.

Pls note no offence to the writers it is all correct but the game is played behind your backs.

- domnic, bahrain | 23 rd January 2012 17:24

 

You are absolutely right! Old LION must die now peacefully in this election as per law of nature. BJP should not make any alliance with MGP even if they did not get power in 2013 as 2018 will be definately of BJP.

- Shekhar, Panaji | 23 rd January 2012 11:12

 

I wish somebody could throw some water on MGP and make it just vanish away. It is fact that currently it is hijacked by two Dhavalakars. These two extremely corrupt and master manipulators have used the Lion quite effectively to broke power and efficiently fill the coffers of theirs and their of-springs

I think you are naive not to realize the fact that Goan constituencies are quite small in size as far as the number of voters is concerned, a swing of a few votes can effectively spell doom for the candidate. If there is an alliance between BJP and MGP, the anti-congress Hindu vote will go to the alliance having a big influence on its chances of victory, just the way it did some years ago.

Of course, as you have have rightly pointed out MGP will be (read Dhavalikars) a big liability to the alliance pre- and post elections.

It is the need of the hour that this corrupt and anti-people congress is made to sit in the opposition at least this term in the larger interest of Goa and democracy.

- Jagan, Canada | 23 rd January 2012 00:00

 

Is this possible ????

(The death of ‘Lion,’ whom majority Goans loved at one time, could raise a new hope, for a new party with regional aspirations and regional agenda with global outlook.)

- Loukik, Savoiverem | 22 nd January 2012 21:10

 

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