There is a saying that the ‘History Repeats Itself’ and it is true to the core at least in this case. Whatever is happening in Goa on the political front at present only indicates towards the repetition of the past. In 2002 there was a fractured mandate and BJP had formed the government with the help of several allies but soon everything fell off like a sand castle and BJP had to wait for almost 10 years to form its own stable government only to fail miserably and the result was another fractured mandate in 2017, and once again they are standing on the same crossroad, will the history going to repeat itself once again?
The game of politics is very bad but at the same time, it is quite interesting as well. People of Goa have once again given the featured mandate and it looks like as if the BJP had repeated its old mistake once more by forming the government with the help of candidates who contested the election against them and won. If you look at the present government, all those who joined the hands with BJP had worked against them in their constituencies and won the election. It means that people voted against the BJP in all those constituencies. Another very important fact that one cannot overlook here is, the candidates who joined hands with BJP in forming the government had worked towards the direction to make ‘BJP FREE GOA’.
MGP came out of government due to the clashes in their ideologies but soon they did ‘Ghar Wapasi’ but if you look at the election manifesto of Goa Forward, it was complete ‘Anti BJP’ and now they have joined hands with their “Rivals” for the sake of cabinet berths? Meanwhile, the independents had all the options in front of them but BJP conveniently managed to woo them too. Finally, the coalition government has been formed with Parrikar as their CM. But how long that is going to remain stable nobody knows.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2002?
According to the sources, the political instability is not the new thing for Goa but it has the history behind it. Goa, which was liberated from Portuguese colonial rule about 55 years ago and attained statehood in 1987, has a history of political instability, characterized mainly by defections. Naturally, the results of May 30, 2002, elections to the 40-member State Assembly rekindled fears that the malaise would continue because no single party won a majority. The election turned out to be a race between the two major national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
Here, Mr. Parrikar formed the coalition government with the help of two regional political parties, mainly, MGP and UGDP and an independent with the sole purpose of becoming the Chief Minister of Goa. Parrikar managed to win the support of five non-Congress legislators, two each from the Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) and the United Goan Democratic Party (UGDP) and an independent. All five have been accommodated in the Cabinet. The MGP and the UGDP, which fought the elections together, had pledged in their common election manifesto that they would not align with the BJP.
During that time also Parrikar had to face the same question from the media, whether the ministerial berths given to the on-BJP members were the price of their support to which Mr. Parrikar denied in his signature style saying, “The only way to accommodate them was to give them Cabinet berths,” he said. But then the government did not run for long and after the coalition parties removed their support the BJP government collapsed with President rule imposed in Goa followed by the re-elections in 2005 that gave a complete majority to the Congress.
THE PRESENT SCENARIO
The existing political developments after the recent polls resembles the picture of 2002 wherein the BJP has formed the government with the help of coalition of two political parties (non-Congress) MGP (3 candidates) + Goa Forward (3 Candidates) and Independents (3 Candidates) in fact the situation is more challenging this time since there are nine non-BJP members in the cabinet this time compared to the 5 non-BJP members in the year 2002.
Another thing is, there are many MLAs in the BJP camp are not happy with the outsiders taking the lion’s share in the cabinet berths. The final nail in the coffin is the possible entry of Congress rebel Vishwajit Rane into the BJP to which many BJP legislatures are agitating. According to the sources, The induction of former Congress legislature Vishwajit Rane into the BJP cabinet has resulted in creating instability inside the party. The sources have revealed the possibility of revolt in the BJP camp due to which the swearing in ceremony of Rane has been postponed.
Based on the information available from the reliable sources, few BJP legislature had spoken on the condition of anonymity with the local news channel showing their disagreement on the decisions taken by the senior BJP leaders without taking them into the confidence. One of the BJP legislatures told the news channel that, they are not happy with the decision taken by the senior leaders and will not allow the entry of Rane into the cabinet. There are speculations that due to the entry of Rane in the BJP camp the Calangute MLA may lose the chance of getting the Cabinet berth this time and it is not the good news for him.
The political stability relies on two things, voter’s mandate and support of MLAs. In the coalition government, the main hurdle is the differences of ideology and existence of ego and both these ingredients already exist in the present coalition government. There is no stability whatever the party spokespersons may say. There are strong chances of assembly getting dissolved on the backdrop of 2002 and re-election only will decide the fate of each candidate. Let’s wait and watch where this ‘SHIP’ sinks or sails this time.
NOTE: All the information in this article has been compiled by the author from various reliable sources and it is considered to be an authentic in nature, but in case you find any errors and lapses please do bring the same to our notice by writing to us on [email protected]