Local Goa News

Monday, September 19, 2016

Govt’s pro-active push for parents’ choice in MoI to get back minority support

CM’s scathing attack on BBSM aimed at getting back minority voters; boosting nervous party cadre to take on BBSM another objective

PANJIM: In a change of tone, if not a complete change of stance the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa appears to have gone all out against the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), a move which could prove to be tactical in wake of the 2017 Assembly elections.

Refusing to withdraw grants being given to 135 English primary schools run by the Diocesan Society of Education, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Sunday said the ruling BJP is the most “secular” party and hence cannot bow down before the demands of one particular section – BBSM.
Parsekar said that though the government is of the view that primary education has to be in the mother tongue, ultimately it is the choice of parents to decide in which language the child should learn.
“As a political party, it is not possible for us to stop the grants just because a particular section is demanding it. The move is not at all secular and the BJP believes in taking all the sections together and moving ahead,” Parsekar said.
Not only this, Parsekar went on to say, “Let not someone teach us what is right and wrong on basis of religion… we are secular and for the people of Goa”.
Parsekar said the party has managed to weed out the thinking of society that BJP is a ‘Hindu Party’. “Over the years, we have managed to develop confidence amongst the minority class that BJP is also for them,” he stated.
According to political analysts, by making such statements, Parsekar and Parrikar now do want to lose the minority votes too by stopping grants to English medium schools.
Dy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, however feels that the government’s stand has been consistent. He told Herald there is no change in his party’s stance on MoI or BBSM. “For the last four years we have not stopped grants to English schools and have been consistent,” he told Herald.
He said, “We have also consistently said we feel that primary education should be in the mother tongue and hence we have been giving more grants to Konkani and Marathi medium.”
On the scathing attack on Velingkar, he said, “There is a limit to everything and they (BBSM) crossed all limits.”
It is learnt that during a meeting of senior party leaders, in the presence of Manohar Parrikar, it was felt that only a very strong response to BBSM, would reenergize the BJP cadre which was facing the heat from the BBSM and developments post Subhash Velingkar’s removal.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said the government’s decision on MoI is the best possible and in the interest of Goans. “I do not want to speak on basis of majority or minority but the parents should be deciding the MoI for their children and not organisations like BBSM etc,” he said.
It will however be interesting to see, how this stand plays out during its alliance talks with the MGP, which is not only in favour of giving grants only for vernacular languages but  even in favour of pushing for Marathi to be included as the state language of Goa.

Herald Goa News

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