Is Babush’s withdrawal part of BJP’s master plan?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 23 December 2014 15:51 IST

Why St Cruz MLA Babush Monseratte has gulped down his own announcement and withdrawn from the Panaji by-election contest, which is yet to be announced?

Why St Cruz MLA Babush Monseratte has gulped down his own announcement and withdrawn from the Panaji by-election contest, which is yet to be announced?

According to political pundits, it is not a surrender but a part of a much bigger master plan hatched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the ‘loyally disloyal’ Congressmen.

Soon after former chief minister Manohar Parrikar announced his exit from Goa as well as his five-term Panaji seat, Babush announced: “I will contest from Panaji as an independent.”

He made an ‘independent’ announcement, but the withdrawal is not independent.

Nor it is a strategy to teach a lesson to Congress nominee and Panaji Mayor Surendra Furtado.

The political understanding between Parrikar and Babush for Panaji and Taleigao seats is no more a secret. But it’s also not limited to these two constituencies.

If we recall, it’s directly linked to Babush’s repeated statement: “I don’t need Congress, the Congress needs me.”

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Parrikar's remote & the Puppet Show

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The Parrikar-Babush understanding believed to have now reached at state level – to reduce the Congress to non-entity by 2017 Assembly election and work out a new combination of ruling and opposition party.

Highly placed sources in this camp reveal that a new regional party is taking shape in Goa, with the blessings of the ruling BJP, which would weaken the Congress further.

Once 2017 Assembly elections are announced, the ‘loyal’ Congressmen (and women) would quit the Congress, calling it corrupt and centrally-controlled.

On the other hand, the BJP would sever its ties with its traditional ally –the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, in order to spread its tentacles in the talukas like Ponda, Bicholim and Sattari.

Sources in the Congress, who are already aware of this game plan, claim that Fatorda’s independent MLA Vijay Sardesai’s repeated roars of a regional party are nothing but the beginning of marching towards this strategy, three years in advance.

Perhaps this is the reason, Deepak Dhawalikar was stripped off the most influential co-operation portfolio after Laxmikant Parsekar was sworn in as Parrikar’s successor to rule the tourist state.

Goa’s major infrastructural projects, may it be Lusofonia or the expansion of National Highway, the major bridges or the Panaji flyover, would be commissioned by the BJP-controlled Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation and not by big brother Sudin Dhawalikar, the PWD minister.

According to sources, Babush simply tried to stretch this plan by announcing Panaji contest while offering the BJP four more seats if Panaji is allotted to him.

Apparently, Parrikar outrightly rejected the plan as it could severely affect his popularity and the prospects of the BJP in 2017 election.

The ruling saffron party appears to have been planning to make inroads in the MGP-dominated constituencies in Ponda as well as Bicholim and Sattari since it has no guarantee of retaining at least five Christian-dominated constituencies – Calangute, Aldona, St Andre, Cortalim and Vasco.

In spite of total anti-Congress environment throughout the state, the BJP in 2012 ‘Parivartan Election’ could only touch the magic figure of 21 in the 40-member Goa Assembly because of these five seats – they are not traditional BJP strongholds.

The other four constituencies in Salcete – Nuvem, Benaulim, Velim and Navelim – may also not support BJP sympathisers and get blessings from the ‘political wing’ of the Church.

The plan is thus to ‘gift’ these seats to the regional party, which would work as aggressive enemy of the BJP as well as the Congress and would emerge as the new force to begin a new political chapter of Goa’s politics.

If BJP gets majority, the regional outfit would be prime opposition. And if it’s a hung Assembly, then the BJP would join hands with the regional outfit, “in order to keep the corrupt Congress out.” 

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