With Vishwajeet’s entry, What does BJP and Sattari stand to gain?

Opinion/Analysis: With Vishwajeet's entry, What does BJP and Sattari stand to gain?

Vishwajeet Rane was formally inducted into the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 7, 2017. He will soon be inducted into the cabinet with the likely portfolios of Health an Information Technology (IT).

One of the reasons why Vishwajeet might be allotted the health portfolio is due his previous experience as the health minister in the Congress government. It was during his tenure as the health minister 108 Emergency Response Services were launched in collaboration with Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI).

The BJP has much to gain by inducting Vishwajeet Rane. But what will he gain in return? Congress seems to have lost a strong candidate.

What does it mean for Valpoi?

In any given circumstance, a MLA in a ruling party has a better access to funds to carry out developmental works in his/her constituencies. Hence, when Junior Rane said he was joining the BJP for the development of Valpoi, he was being literal.

There are allegations against the junior Rane of indulging in nepotism. It is alleged that a large number of jobs in the Health and Agricultural department were given to candidates from Sattari during the last congress regime. The Lokayukta had highlighted in 2013.

It is a well known fact in Goa that ruling party MLAs use their influence and get government jobs for the candidate of their choice.

Sattari fort captured?

Valpoi was one of the four seats BJP won on its debut in the 1994 assembly elections. It lost the seat in 1999 and won it again in 2002. However, 2007 marked the entry of Junior Rane into the political fray and the seat was never won by the BJP again.

Besides Sattari the Ranes are considered highly influential in Bicholim Taluka and its constituencies. In fact, Pravin Zantye was initially declared as a Congress candidate by Junior Rane in August of 2016. Later, Zantye was given a BJP ticket on which he won the Maem assembly constituency.

Currently, the BJP has a control over all three assembly constituencies in Bicholim Taluka (Bicholim is represented by Patnekar while Sanquelim is represented by Pramod Sawant). Vishwajeet is soon to go for a by poll in Valpoi, which he is sure to win, this will improve the BJP tally from 13 to 14. Junior Rane’s win will mark a re-emergence of BJP in Sattari after 2007.

Sattari Yuva Morcha (SYM) in hibernation

The organisation was much in news before the assembly election as it was registered as a political party. Soon rumours began that Junior Rane might quit Congress and contest election on SYM ticket. There were also reports of him having an alliance with the BJP.

“I wanted to join hands with the BJP before the Assembly elections by forming a regional outfit, Sattari Yuva Morcha. That could not materialise,” Vishwajit said recently in a India Today report published on April 6. That is the closest SYM came to contest elections. Goa assembly website states Junior Rane to be the founder and President of the organisation.

It seems for now SYM may have to go into a political hibernation. As its presence is not very important in the current political scenario, since Junior Rane seems comfortable with the BJP.

The Goan political scenario continues to be unpredictable since March 11. It will be interesting to see which constituency CM Manohar Parrikar chooses to contest the assembly election.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the writer’s own and are not endorsed by the Chronicler)