‘Forming political strategy to defeat BJP in Goa polls’

Panaji, July 14 (IANS) Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar on Thursday said that a pro-regional languages group he is part of is actively working on a political strategy to defeat the ruling BJP in poll-bound Goa.

The top Sangh functionary claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) betrayed the cause of regional languages — Konkani and Marathi.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Thursday, Velingkar also said that a new academic authority formed by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to resolve the ongoing controversial issue of medium of instruction in the state’s elementary schools was a sham.

“The Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch’s political committee is actively working on creating a list of constituencies and candidates which we will field in the upcoming state assembly elections to defeat the BJP… The BJP continues to betray the cause of Indian regional languages in favour of English,” Velingkar told reporters.

Two groups namely Forum for Rights of Children to Education, backed by the influential Roman Catholic Church and the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch, supported by the RSS, have been at loggerheads in Goa over the last few years over the choice of language of instruction in junior schools.

In the run up to the 2012 state assembly polls, the BJP had supported the demand of the Manch for ensuring regional languages as the preferred mode of instruction in schools. The state government is now being accused by Velingkar and the Manch of backtracking on their promise by backing English language schools.

Velingkar also said that the Manch would look at fielding its own candidates or backing existing candidates in 38 out of the 40 state legislative assembly constituencies with a “simple target” of defeating the BJP in the upcoming polls which are scheduled to be held in early 2017.

“We are in the process of formulating our political strategy,” Velingkar said, adding that the Manch was no averse to supporting political outfits who promised to make Konkani and Marathi a medium of instruction in Goa’s primary schools.

Velingkar also said that a academic authority formed by the state government to examine the regional languages issue was a sham.

“The committee is not good in law and is a drama by the Parsekar government to fool us,” Velingkar said.

–IANS

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