Goa Election 2017: BJP will have poll problem without RSS backing, says Digvijaya Singh

Panaji: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday said the BJP will face a problem in Goa Assembly elections because of the party's differences with the RSS.

Singh's comments came a day after Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Lakshman Behare said the organisation's cadre would not campaign for the BJP in the state assembly elections on 4 February.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. File photo. PTI

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. File photo. PTI

The Congress general secretary also said the Goa polls were more about the identity of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, rather than of the BJP or its ideological fountainhead RSS.

"This is something which we will see, because RSS is the core of BJP and minus RSS, BJP will have a problem, because the foot soldiers usually come from the RSS," Singh told IANS, when asked if the criticism of the BJP and its leaders Manohar Parrikar and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar by former RSS leader Subhash Velingkar would make the campaign easier for the Congress.

While Velingkar has mentored a new political outfit, Goa Suraksha Manch, with a specific intention to defeat the BJP in the polls, Lakshman Behare, who replaced him as the state RSS chief, told reporters on Monday the Sangh would not campaign either for the BJP, or any other political party.

"We won't tell RSS cadre to support any particular party," Behare said.

While the BJP is contesting the state assembly elections on its own and has already fielded candidates in 37 of the 40 Goa Assembly constituencies, the Velingkar-mentored Manch has fielded six candidates and has scripted an alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which was a ruling alliance partner until recently, and the Shiv Sena.

Velingkar and the RSS have repeatedly attacked the Goa BJP leadership for ignoring regional languages and backing English-medium schools, run by the influential Roman Catholic Church with financial grants from the state government.

Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 19:39 PM

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