Panaji, April 28 (IANS) Accusing the BJP-led coalition government in Goa of being dictatorial, the state RSS chief on Thursday threatened to court arrest with other members of a regional language forum if they were not allowed to conduct a public meeting.
Subhash Velingkar wants to hold the meet to highlight the failures of the incumbent government over the contentious issue of medium of instruction in Goa’s primary schools.
Addressing a press conference here, Velingkar, who also heads the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), dismissed media reports about Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s request to the BJP high command for his dismmisal as the Sarsanghchalak of the state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) unit.
“I, along with members of the Manch, will court arrest on Saturday (April 30) if we are not given permission to host the meeting at Sanquelim assembly constituency. The government is behaving in a dictatorial manner by denying permission to us to host a peaceful meeting,” Velingkar said.
There is bitter acrimony within the BJP and the RSS over the issue of medium of instruction in the state’s primary schools.
Two groups “Forum for Rights of Children to Education” (FORCE) 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. It is now being accused by Velingkar and the Manch of backtracking on their promise by backing English language schools.
Led by Velingkar, the Manch has now announced a protest roadmap that involves conducting public meetings in the state’s 21 assembly constituencies represented by BJP legislators.
The first such meeting, held on Sunday at Parsekar’s constituency of Mandrem, drew a significant crowd.
Reacting to media reports about the Goa BJP leadership’s meeting with the party’s national president Amit Shah seeking the ouster of Velingkar, the Goa RSS chief said: “The BJP has nothing to do with the appointment or removal of RSS functionaries.”