The new revolutionary Goans party causes a stir

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It remains to be seen whether the party will build on the success or crumble, analysts say

It remains to be seen whether the party will build on the success or crumble, analysts say

When Viresh Borkar, 28, the youngest legislator of Goa’s youngest political party, the Revolutionary Goans (RG), reached the Legislative Assembly for his swearing-in earlier this week on a motorbike, he signaled a definite shift in the tenor of Goan politics.

First-time MP Borkar and biker, RG Party leader and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Tukaram ‘Manoj’ Parab are determined to sweep away Goa’s corrupt old political order.

The centerpiece of the party’s poll campaign was its pledge to pass the POGO (Person of Goan Origin) Bill through the Goa Legislative Assembly and give Goans their rights focusing on jobs, programs government, land advisory and housing projects.

The RG stunned established political parties and observers with its impressive performance in the 40-seat Goa Assembly election results by opening their account and capturing over 9.5% of the total vote.

According to this metric, the party in its political debut came third after the Bharatiya Janata Party (33% of the vote) and the Congress (23%) and left the Trinamool Congress (5.21%) and even the AAP (6.67%) — which won two seats — in the shade.

Breathtaking show

The performance of the RG’s ‘joker’ was stunning by any measure, given that the outfit was written off by almost everyone but the most astute observer. While some pointed to the party’s shrewd and profitable campaigns through Facebook and other social media platforms and the emotive appeal of its issues, few dared dare to dare the impact the RG would have after counting ended on March 10. .

The party, which was given the electoral symbol of ‘football’ less than two months before the February 14 elections, has now set itself the ambitious target of securing 3.5 lakh of the vote in the 2027 elections. .

“People want us to come into the system, to deal with the issues that really matter… panches and sarpanches destroyed Goa by granting voting rights to migrants and allowing the cutting of hills,” says Mr Parab, 37.

Often compared to a Goanese version of the early Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the RG, with its regionalist “son of the soil” agenda, proved in this election that it has substantial support in the huge Goanese migrant. population of neighboring Maharashtra and Karnataka, especially among overseas Goans.

Its stated aim of protecting Goa’s identity, culture, nature and heritage from the ‘ravaging’ of migrants has caught the attention of Goa’s electorate, especially the youth, like few political parties. did.

Mr Parab however disagrees with the comparisons, pointing out that the RG never resorted to violence, unlike their Maharashtrian counterparts, to achieve their ends.

According to observers, the party and its young candidates, with their limited means, make a refreshing contrast to the crorepati candidates from old Goan parties – be it BJP, Congress, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party or TMC.

“The projection of the RG as a puritanical force cleaning up the accumulated stench of Goa politics resonated strongly with the electorate. Mr Parab’s impassioned pleas via Facebook to fund his outfit, which is described as ‘non-political’ on the party’s website, have given the impression that this is an honest party trying to do something sincere thing for the people of Goa,” says an analyst.

Mr Borkar opened his party’s account by winning the St. Andrew’s seat by just 76 votes in a humdinger of a contest. More importantly, the RG cannibalized votes in an already crowded opposition to hit Congress hard and indirectly benefit the BJP.

Yet saffron party leaders said the RG also beat their candidates to some seats, including Mandrem, where incumbent Dayanand Sopte lost by a narrow margin of 715 votes, while RG’s Sunanda Gayade secured 1 219 votes.

In Saleigao, former MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar, touted as the favourite, suffered an upset defeat by 1,899 votes – almost the difference in votes polled by RG’s Rohan Kalangutkar (1,928 votes).

In Thivim, where the TMC was hoping to open an account, the party’s best bet, Kavita Kandolkar — wife of TMC head of state Kiran Kandolkar — lost by 2,051 votes. His speech was challenged by Mr. Parab himself, who garnered 5,051 votes.

The MGP, projected as a ‘kingmaker’ by the exit polls, also suffered at the hands of the RG, as MGP chairman Deepak Dhavalikar, brother of Sudin Dhavalikar, lost the Priol seat by a very slim margin of just over 200 votes against Govind Gaude of the BJP. The spoiler was RG’s Vishwesh Naik, who garnered 2,517 votes.

RG candidate Sanquelim left goalkeeper CM Pramod Sawant breathless, with Mr Sawant beating his closest rival – Congress’s Dharmesh Saglani – by a mere 666 votes. RG’s Sujay Gauns garnered 742 votes.

The RG, according to a longtime election observer, entered the space created by the decline of other local outfits such as the Goa Forward Party led by Vijai Sardesai, which had been formed with similar goals of preserving the ethos and identity of Goa.

He also points to the fact that the RG sprouted in the Salcette region (where Mr. Borkar won the Saint-André seat), where voters are more “influenced” by emotional issues than other districts in the EU. State.

Salcette, which was part of the Velhas Conquistas (the territories conquered by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16 and century) districts, has generally been the incubation of new parties, ideas and slogans as opposed to districts under the Novas Conquistas (‘new conquests’), which have usually been with the MGP or the BJP, given that they adjoin the Konkan province of Maharashtra and the pro-Marathi issue is vibrant there.

“The question is, will the RG supplant the old regional parties in Goa or will its success be a long-term flash in the pan? It should be remembered that the MNS caused a sensation when it was formed, playing the role of “kingmaker” in the Maharashtra Assembly and rapidly achieving success in the civic bodies of Nashik and Pune. But, then, the party quickly died out, ”explains the analyst.

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