BJP national meet in Goa

| 18 March 2002 21:35 IST

Eyeing on the forthcoming Assembly polls in the state probably by May end, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party here has managed to shift its national executive meeting from Pune to Goa, from 12 to 14 April.

"We will definitely benefit from it", quipped chief minister Manohar Parrikar, as the meet would follow a public rally which will be addressed by all the central leaders including prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Rather than managing dates of several leaders for electioneering, the BJP here is quite happy that most of these important leaders will be readily available to address election rallies in different parts of the state. They also plan to hold one huge rally in Panaji, where the national executive will meet.

This is the third national meet the BJP is holding in Goa while this will be yet another important event for the Sangh Parivar in last three years, following the second national executive meet held here in April 1999.

Soon after this meet, the Sangh Parivar had begun Dharm Jagaran Yatra from Goa on 20 October, to hit the national capital on the eve of visit by Pope John Paul II to India. Followed by this was the two-day meet of the Kendirya Margadarshak Mandal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, held in October 2000, to plan out date of the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.

May it be considered merely a coincidence that the BJP's national executive is meeting once again in the tiny state of western coast when the BJP-led coalition government at the centre is facing wrath of its NDA allies due to the same Ayodhya issue, the action plan for which was chalked out here by the VHP.

Incidentally, the BJP's national leaders had met in Goa last time when AIADMK leader Jayalalitha had moved towards withdrawing support to the NDA government. The situation is equally crucial today once again, due to tough stand adopted by Vajpayee's allies on the new Ayodhya episode.

In fact the Sangh Parivar appears to be building Goa as a strategic point for its Hindutva movement, posing the state as Konkan Kashi - Kashi of the West, in an attempt to counter the state-sponsored propaganda that the tourist state is the Rome of the East.

Response to the religion-related concept of the Sangh Parivar is still not visible, but the BJP has emerged as a powerful political entity in Goa, in spite of making a debut with four legislators only in 1994. The saffrons increased its number to 10 in '99 polls and even formed its own government by admitting neo-saffron Congressmen by engineering defection.

The saffron party has today gone for sudden dissolution within 32 months, putting themselves to public test. Parrikar claims that they will be elected back to power, following successful panchayat elections. It is to be seen whether shifting of the BJP national meet here will help them bring their plans true.

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