BJP says, GSM will not eat into its votes in Goa

Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar floats Goa Suraksha Manch to take on BJP in Goa assembly election
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday claimed that the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), a new political party formed by a group led by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) rebel Subhash Velingkar, would not have any impact on its votes in the state assembly polls due next year.

"In a democracy, everyone has a right to start a political party or join any political party. No one can stop them. But as far as BJP is concerned, it will have no impact on our prospects in Goa polls. It will not be able to divide our votes," BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from South Goa Narendra Sawaikar told PTI on Monday.

Velingkar-backed Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) on Sunday announced formation of its political outfit, GSM, with an aim to defeat the BJP in the upcoming Goa polls.

To a question, Sawaikar said there were many people who had supported BJP in the 2012 state polls and who continue to support his party. "When BBSM forms the party, it is like someone joining another party. It is not a serious matter for us," the MP said.

He said BJP has been well accepted by the masses and the party has proved its credentials through good governance during the last four-and-half years in Goa.

"BJP has a vast base of its workers, who are loyal and dedicated to the party ideology," Sawaikar said.

The MP sought to know whether BBSM leaders, who had an agenda of mother tongue as medium of instruction in elementary education, would be joining the GSM or will keep themselves away from it.

On Sunday, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had claimed that the new political party would actually help the ruling BJP to win the upcoming state polls.

The GSM, led by Anand Shirodkar, has kept its option open to ally with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on seat-sharing basis, even as it is also in talks with Shiv Sena and Goa Praja Party.

The name of Velingkar, who is heading the BBSM, does not figure in the list of GSM office-bearers. RSS had recently relieved its Goa Vibhag Sangh Chalak Velingkar, who then formed a parallel outfit called RSS Goa Prant.

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