July 29th, 2017 Posted In: editorial

Team TNV

There are some people who are most predictable in their one quality of life – unpredictability. They are always unpredictable, and you can always predict that they will be unpredictable. I would count Babush Monserratte in that category.
After donning several political hats, making announcements, Babush has always stunned the state politics with his moves. The recent move to join Goa Forward Party is just yet another predictably unpredictable move done by this political leader who was once called as uncrowned king of Taleigao.
After holding a firm grip over his constituency, Babush ventured into St Cruz, and he won there too. This time, he also managed to get his supporter Tony Fernandes get elected from there.
While Babush could have been a major political force with more experience than Vijai Sardesai, it was expected that he would float his regional outfit. He did float a political outfit during recent Assembly election but did not nurture it, and failed.
He himself fought from Panaji constituency with the support of Congress party as an independent because his outfit was not registered with the Election Commission of India.
There is one thing synonymous with Babush, that is, his aspirations to get elected from Panaji constituency and his failure to do so. The political experts were also claiming that Babush was one unrecognised force behind Manohar Parrikar who was helping him to get elected in this constituency.
Babush fought Panaji election for the first time in the year 2017, but his intervention in the city’s politics is not new. He has been ruling the Corporation of City of Panaji.
But what is that makes Babush not win Panaji election? Is it the might of Manohar Parrikar and the BJP? Or is it his bad luck when it comes to this constituency?
This time too, Congress was entirely banking on Babush to contest from Panaji constituency in the upcoming by-election. He was rather the only hope for Congress, that is why the age old party made amendments in their party organisation as per the requirements of Babush, and Faleiro was replaced with Shantaram Naik.
Babush also held a series of meeting with the Congress legislators at his residence to chalk out a strategy for Panaji by-election. If Babush had to contest and defeat Parrikar, then it would have changed the entire political scene in the state.
Vijai Sardesai has always been known as a smart politician who knows when to play his cards. This time, Vijai seems to have played the card for Parrikar. Babush not contesting from Panaji will give a walk through for Parrikar. But, is it just that much?
Knowing Vijai well, he would make the best out of this opportunity. He would not let the advantage of having Babush by his side get wasted only with Panaji election. There is a bigger game that is likely being played.
A casual chat with political analysts reveals that Vijai is currently trying to get numbers behind him.
Having three legislators in the Assembly does not make Vijai the irreplaceable force. But if he gets more numbers, it is for sure that Vijai would be more powerful.
Till going to the press, St Cruz legislator Tony Fernandes had not resigned. But there are predictions that three Congress legislators might resign. Fernandes from St Cruz, Jeniffer Monserratte from Taleigao and Francis Silveira from St Andre are expected to resign.
If we stretch our imagination a bit, Canacona MLA Isidor Fernandes might also toe the line of Babush. And, if all these people get re-elected on Goa Forward Party ticket, Vijai will have seven MLAs.
Babush has already made it clear after joining GFP that they have an understanding with BJP, that if any Congress legislator resigns, GFP will contest from that seat.
The larger game would be played out if this happens. This doesn’t just make Vijai stronger but also makes MGP redundant. Dhavalikar-led party which was always playing a role of an ace in the government will be reduced to just another party.
This will also make Manohar Parrikar more insecure on his post. Goa which was always known for political instability might again plunge into same future.
Congress party which is currently fuming on Vijai and Babush, might also give up for political compulsions to form the government in the state.
These are just presumptions. But time will tell. We might be hundred percent right.
Going back to BJP, what does the current political situation means for the saffron party? Let us rewind to March 2017. BJP leader Damodar Naik was left red faced when his party formed government with his arch-rival Vijai Sardesai.
Here now, BJP leader Dattaprasad Naik is left orphaned in his constituency with Babush joining hands with GFP. Even if there is a by-election in Taleigao, Dattaprasad will have to campaign for GFP candidate, and it might be Jeniffer.
In these circumstances, Dattaprasad will be left without any face before his voters. A force that BJP had created in this constituency to take Babush head-on will crumble.
The smaller gains at this time for BJP, in the form of letting Parrikar having a walk through might be a bigger loss for the party in future. The meticulous planning that went in building the party in the state is slowly facing troubles.
The party with a difference is playing in the hands of those who will be leaving them isolated any time.
Moving back to being ordinary Goan, we just hope that in the name of ‘Goemkarponn’, we should not be made to face ‘fotingponn’. The politicians will remain unpredictable, but the one thing that should be predictable is the future of the state and its development.
Parrikar had made vague reference to working on happiness quotient of the population if BJP comes to power. Now, it is time for him to do what he had mentioned. Check the happiness quotient of Goans, and also try to see what Goemkar wants. Just a slogan of Goemkarponn won’t work.
Team TNV

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Team TNV

The author is a senior Journalist working in Goa for last one and half decade with the experience of covering wide-scale issues ranging from entertainment to politics and defense.

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