MATCHMAKER: Sharad Pawar has been the master of forging alliances between rival political parties. Beginning in 1976 when he toppled the Congress government to form the PDA government in Maharashtra. His latest success has been in breaking up the Shiv Sena- BJP alliance to form an NCP Congress- Shiv Sena alliance to dislodge the BJP government.

By Rajan Narayan

WITH the BJP government at the Centre undermining the autonomy of the states, it is crucial that the party should be defeated in all the five states where polling has already started. The Centre will not only take over control of the civil services but institutions like the Mormugoa Port Trust. Only a mahagathbandhan can save Goa and India now. Only Sharad Pawar can create a mahagathbandhan!

THE polling process in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur has already started. The first phase of the elections in UP has already been completed. With a battle royal going on between Yogi Aditiyanath of BJP, Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Priyanka Gandhi of the Congress. The Aam Aadmi party has entered the election fray in Punjab and in Uttar Pradesh.
THE five states that are contesting the assembly elections being held between February 10 and March 3 account for 200 plus seats in the Lok Sabha. The ongoing elections are crucial for the BJP as they will give an indication of how well the BJP will perform in the parliamentary elections in 2024.
The current ongoing elections will decide whether Narendra Modi will return to power as the prime minister. The key state of course is Uttar Pradesh which has 80 seats in the Lok Sabha. So these elections are not just a local elections. They are a preview of the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Besides the Congress which has been the traditional rival of the BJP, two new entities, the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi parties also have ambitions of capturing Delhi. Mamata Banerjee has publically announced that she is determined to defeat Narendra Modi to be the prime minister of the country.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal acts rather than talks. AAP has already spread its wings to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and now Goa. Asked whether he aspired to be prime minister by India Today’s TV anchorman Rajdeep Sardesai in a talk show on Goa, Kejriwal very cleverly evaded the question by saying that he wanted to serve the country.

GOA ALLIANCE: The NCP has entered into an alliance with the Shiv Sena to fight for 24 seats in the Goa Assembly poll scheduled for February 14. The NCP has also appealed to the TMC to join hands with them

ACCORDING to Arvind Kejriwal for the last 70 years all political parties and politicians have cheated the people of good governance. Both the TMC and the AAP are anxious to march to Delhi from Goa as it was from Goa that Modi’s yatra to chief ministership started at the BJP’s Executive Committee meeting at the Marriott Hotel in 2013 in Panaji.
Till recently it was presumed that the battle for the prime minister’s post and the 2024 parliamentary elections would be between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Sonia Gandhi-led United Progressive Alliance. Unfortunately, the headless Congress is in a terrible shape with a group of 23 senior leaders openly revolting against the Gandhi family.
For the first time the Congress was forced to announce the chief ministerial candidate in the ongoing Punjab Assembly elections. The incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi took precedence over the president of the Punjab Congress Committee, who is the cricketer comedian Navjot Singh Sidhu. Historically, the practice has been for the Congress legislative party in the state to authorize the Congress president to choose the chief minister.

CHIEF Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has rejected the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA. When she was asked during a visit to Mumbai about the UPA, she insisted that the UPA had collapsed. Clearly, the TMC wants to replace the Congress and be the leader of the UPA. This may not be acceptable to the other members of the UPA.
The reason why the Goa election is crucial is because Sharad Pawar, the master of alliances, has decided to stake his claim. Sharad may be more acceptable to all the Opposition political parties to lead the UPA. Sharad may not target the prime minister’s post. He has always been happier being king-maker instead of being king himself.
Way back in 1978 Sharad Pawar broke away from the Congress and formed the rebel Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) government. I recall the occasion distinctly as I was the first journalist to interview him as the editor of Imprint in Bombay. Subsequently, on several occasions of national importance Sharad Pawar has played the match- maker. His master stroke was to get the Shiv Sena to break away from BJP and form an alliance of the Congress and BJP to take over the government in Maharashtra, displacing the BJP-led government of Devendra Fadnavis.

THE NCP’s role in the imminent election in Goa schedule for Valentine’s Day February 14 is significant. The NCP on its own may be contesting only 12 seats. Along with its alliance partner the Shiv Sena the NCP is contesting 24 seats. With the exception of a few most of the NCP candidates are newcomers. But even if the NCP wins three or four seats it could become part of a coalition government. Given the political jams in Goa with half-a- dozen of parties in the fray, it is unlikely that any party will get a clear majority.
The biggest joke about the elections in Goa is that the Congress has taken BJP defectors and the BJP has taken Congress defectors. Though the TMC started on a very promising note it has flattered only to deceive. The TMC has shot itself in the foot by raising hopes of giving tickets to prominent social activists. There were at least three aspirants, lawyers Yatish Naik and Clovis Da Costa, and Kenneth Silveira who are furious about being denied TMC party tickets.
With the NCP-Shiv Sena alliance talking of entering into a post-poll alliance with the Congress-Goa Forward ghadbandhan, the Congress has bright chances of returning to power. There is no rivalry about chief ministership this time as it is clear that if the Congress and its alliance get a majority, Digambar Kamat will be the chief minister.
The defeat of the BJP in Goa will mark the end of its dominance over the country. If the BJP loses UP and Punjab its hopes of winning the parliamentary polls are very dim. The Congress in the meanwhile seems to be in the process of reviving itself by virtually projecting Priyanka Gandhi as the chief ministerial face in UP. This may be an indication that Priyanka Gandhi will take over from Sonia Gandhi as a president of the Congress Party.
The Congress has already announced its chief minister in Punjab if its gets the majority. Sharad Pawar will play an increasingly important role not only in the parliamentary poll in 2024 but in all the state elections where the BJP is in power at the moment.
We need to look at the larger picture. We need to fight not only to replace the BJP in Goa but sink the fake lotus everywhere in the country. This is because the BJP has already started changing the Constitution of India. As Rahul Gandhi pointed out in the Parliament recently during the budget session, India is a Union of States. Every state in the country has its own culture and identity.
However, the BJP government is trying to impose Central leadership on all the Indian states. The BJP is trying to take control of the Central Civil Services like the IAS and the IPS to make them accountable to New Delhi. The present convention is that the chief secretary refers to the chief minister of the state.

AGAIN, the BJP government is seeking to nationalize the water ways. This will mean that Goa will not have any rights over the Mhadei-Mandovi river waters which have been diverted to Karnataka. Most disturbing of all is the conversion of the Mormugoa Port Trust into the Mormugoa Port Authority. Goa now will have no control over the MPT and will not be able to stop the setting up of any number of coal berths for industrialist Gautam Adani. On the contrary the new NPA will claim the ownership of all coastal areas including St Jacinto Island in Vasco.
It is in the vitally important that all states in the country including Goa, fight the dadagiri of the BJP. Only a maha-gadbhandan can displace the BJP from the Centre. The only person who can bring all rivals together as he did in Maharashtra is, Sharad Pawar.


  1. If AAP wins in Goa, not only AAP voters will benefit but also Congress, BJP and all other Parties voters will benefits. Along with AAP Voters all other Parties Voters will get Home Delivery of Government Services, Home Delivery of Government Ration, Free Best Health Care, Free Water, Free Electricity, Free Education, Free Wi-Fi, Free Pilgrimage, Free Transport For Women, CCTVs Security around whole Goa, Free Treatment in nearby Private Hospital who meet with an accident, Free Training Center for unemployed Youth and many more Good Facilities AAP will give to all Goans, irrespective of Parties.

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