Has the BJP failed to gauge party issues in Goa?

Goa BJP faces serious hassles as two top men leave over party attitude towards them

The BJP in Goa seems to be facing a peculiar problem. While leaders from other parties are lining up to join the saffron fold in many poll bound states, the Goan scene is a bit different. And, it doesn’t augur well for the ruling party.

The developments in the Goa unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party also points at a few internal issues that the party top brass seems to be ignoring. While the party is keen on bringing in senior leaders from other parties to strengthen the party structure, it is also ignoring the leaders who had toiled hard to build a face for it in Goa.

For instance, Michael Lobo, the Port and Waste Management Minister in the Pramod Sawant government, and two-time MLA of the BJP, has quit just ahead of the Assembly polls. The resignation comes in the wake of Lobo realising that he is no longer wanted by the party.

BJP leaders Lobo, Zantye quit party ahead of polls

What makes Lobo think so is a question that the top leadership or the state chief of the party need to answer. But for those observing political developments in Goa know that Lobo has been a grassroots worker and campaigner who had all through his stint in party toiled to create a strong foundation for the party.

Lobo had joined the party on a call made by former Chief Minster the late Manohar Parrikar years ago. Parrikar had built the BJP pillars stronger with the support of people like Lobo. Now that Lobo has quit and is heading for the BJP means that the party has not been acknowledging or rewarding the contributions he had made right from the start.

Adding to the crisis, another BJP strongman and MLA Pravin Zantye has also said he is moving on from the party and would join the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). The MGP, it may be recalled was once a BJP ally, but has this time around struck a pre-poll alliance with the Trinamool Congress. Zantye’s resignation would also mean that he wasn’t given his due by the party.

Leaving ‘nicely’ before being thrown out

Both leaders have voiced their concern over how they were being treated by the party, of late. Taking a look at what Lobo has stated. He has gone on record saying that his association with the BJP has been 15 years long, and that he feels very sad and pained. Lamenting that the BJP does not want a worker like him, he went to say that he wanted to leave “nicely” and not be thrown out.

Further, Zantye, a former Congressman who joined the BJP on Parrikar’s appeal, also complained that the party had changed after Parrikar’s death. He stated that he is moving to the MGP as he wants to be part of a party that will work for the people.

These statements are serious, considering that the party is heading for the polls in a month’s time.  However, the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government, the state BJP unit or the party’s top leadership doesn’t seem to have gauged the trouble these developments could bring into to the party fold. They are still overawed by the inflow of senior leaders from the rival parties, and in the process, have been ignoring the crisis looming within.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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