Wagh's 'Bahujan Manch' is an offesnsive or defensive card?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 02 January 2014 15:59 IST

St Andre MLA Vishnu Wagh has decided to use Bahujan card, one of the oldest card in Goa’s political game, to checkmate its Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, rather than quitting the saffron brigade.

It has been a 'roaring' controversy after Wagh was attacked by alleged BJP workers, around 70, on the Goa Liberation Day by damaging his car and manhandling him.

He was returning after attending Kirtan Mahotsav, organized at the behest of Goa NCP chief and former Tivim MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar while the local BJP MLA Kiran Kandolkar was not invited.

Wagh, after the 10-day deadline he served to arrest the assailants ended, has now announced that he would form Bahujan Manch, within the BJP, to organize the oppressed sections of the masses.

The police have so far managed to arrest only two persons while chief minister Manohar Parrikar (also the home minister) that the names of his political opponents were supplied to Wagh by Halarnkar as his assailants.

It is thus clear that the state government has taken a stand to protect its party workers rather than arresting them, ignoring the threat issued by Wagh few days ago.

Wagh also appears to have indirectly surrendered to party pressure by announcing formation of Bahujan Manch amidst rumours that he would quit the party.

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party ruled the state for 17 long years with three terms since Goa’s liberation, using the card of Hindu Bahujan Samaj.

The Bahujan Samaj vote bank was later hijacked by the BJP since 1994 Assembly election and the saffron brigade won 21 seats in the 40-member House in last election by even getting Christian Bahujan Samaj on its side.

By announcing formation of Bahujan Manch, Wagh has thus hinted that the Bahujan Samaj needs an alternate platform, which he plans to provide.

Wagh has thus taken a huge challenge to disconnect Bahujan Samaj from the BJP, the prime base of the saffron party. 

But his move is seen in the political circles as a retraction from his offensive stance against the party leadership rather than posing a threat before the saffron party he belongs to.

Amidst rumours that he would contest North Goa seat of Lok Sabha on NCP ticket, Wagh has now also claimed that he would neither quit the party nor contest the election.

“I will fight by remaining within the party”, he said.


While disowning his own desire to contest Parliamentary election, Wagh has also disowned the harsh comments of his wife Aruna that chief minister Parrikar and BJP organizing secretary Satish Dhond had given supari to MLA Kandolkar to attack him.

“Please don’t involve me in what my wife said. That is her personal opinion”, he claimed.

Aruna also addressed a protest rally organized in St Andre constituency by non-BJP leaders like Churchill Alemao, Aleixo Reginald Lourenco and others.

Though various political parties and social organizations condemned the attack on Wagh, hardly anybody came forward to translate this anger into an agitation.

In fact a meeting of social activists convened at Azad Maidan attracted hardly 30 persons, from among the literary and cultural friend circle of Wagh.

While condemning the attack, several BJP wings, especially the Mahila wing, also indirectly justified the attack on Wagh as he has been overcritical of the party leadership.

His statement that the BJP won the last election because of his own popularity has reportedly angered the party leadership further.

They have thus reportedly decided to take Wagh head on, even at the cost of he quitting the party.

Earlier, Wagh was pampered by the chief minister even by promising him the chairmanship of the Entertainment Society of Goa, which he is the vice chairman of.

However, as Wagh continued his public criticism, Parrikar – the ESG chairman – made him only the chairman of the Governing Body of the ESG.

However, realising the offensive mood of the leadership now, Wagh has apparently gone on a backfoot by clarifying that he will neither contest nor quit the party while also disowning his own wife’s statements.

Information reveals that Wagh also did not succeed in getting total support of his own Bhandari community within the BJP, including the ministers and MLAs.

Wagh, also the Kala Academy chairman, in the past, had even expressed his anguish over not getting ministerial berth.

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एक आसलेलो बेबो, गर्वान तो खूब खूब फुगलो, आणि धप्कन फुटलो.

- बैल , Goa | 03 rd January 2014 06:29


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