PANAJI: Even as the Paschim Kshetra Pracharak (western zone propagandist) Vijay Puranik has recently been appointed by the national committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party to take over as the Sangathan Mantri (organising secretary) for the party’s Maharashtra unit, with additional charge of the Goa BJP unit, fervent efforts are being made at the highest party level to bring back Satish Dhond, as an independent Sangathan Mantri for Goa BJP unit, to keep the local party flock in place as well as instil discipline in it.
It is learnt that national BJP president Amit Shah has been briefed about the requirement of Dhond in Goa, at this juncture, when the party is seriously being impacted by the absence of Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, and party’s government hounded by a number of issues including mining.
Puranik is scheduled to visit Goa on April 14 to meet the state BJP leaders, in his official capacity.
Dhond, who had been moved away to Thane district of Maharashtra in 2015, mainly due to complaints from some local ‘mischievous’ party men affected by his rustic yet effective methods of discipline, has now become more than necessary for the state BJP unit.
The party has already found that the two power centres, which were created in Goa, after the departure of Manohar Parrikar to join the Union cabinet – one in the form of Parrikar himself and another being the then chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar – harmed it badly, and brought down the tally of its legislators from 21 to 13, at the 2017 state assembly polls.
The party has also found out that some of the decisions of its previous government went to disconnect the Bahujan Samaj from it; they include amendment to the Goa Agriculture Tenancy (Amendment) Act 2014 by introducing the controversial ‘sunset clause’ in it, and denying candidatures to the Bahujan Samaj sitting MLAs of the party like Ramesh Tawadkar and Anant Shet.
Dhond, who was the backbone of the state BJP organisation, knew every Goan constituency like the back of his hand, as also had firm grasp on all Mandals of the party around the state. Many of those associated with the state BJP unit fully understand that Puranik, an alien to Goa, will neither have dominating power as Dhond, nor possess Dhond’s ‘unorthodox skills’ for controlling the wayward local party men.
It is learnt that the party is currently worried about some of the members of its own flock making uncalled statements on each and every issue such as speed governors for taxies, mining and so on.
The party, however, has little concern over its Catholic supporters as well as coalition partners of its government. It feels that the Catholic voters are more supportive as many of its Catholic sitting MLAs were re-elected at the 2017 assembly election, which is not true for the Hindu legislators. The odd statements made by the coalition partners of the state BJP government are also viewed as something which they need to do now and then, to keep the future prospects of the respective parties alive.
The next twelve months are very crucial to the BJP for more than one reason; the illness of Parrikar, the Lok Sabha election scheduled to take place during the summer of 2019, and the possibility of Goa facing assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha election being just few of them. The unrestrained behaviour of few of the local party men also cannot be ignored.
In such a situation, recalling Satish Dhond seems to be the only option left before the state unit of the BJP, irrespective of whether some of its members want him back or not.
Meanwhile, national BJP vice president Avinash Rai Khanna has been appointed as the desk in-charge (Prabhari) for the party in the Goa state, by National BJP president Amit Shah, with immediate effect.
Source:: The Navhind Times