Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday refused to comment on the political challenge thrown at him by former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, saying he only believes in the Sangh headquartered in Nagpur and not any other outfit.
“The Sangh parivar here are fully supporting the BJP. I do not believe in the Sangh you are referring to. I believe the Sangh whose headquarters is in Nagpur. I do not want to speak about Velingkar. That is a political party and (they) are going ahead with their agenda. We are moving with our agenda. The people have to choose,” Parrikar told a press conference.
Velingkar was sacked as the state chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) last year, following his severe criticism of Parrikar and the Bharatiya Janata Party, over the ruling BJP’s decision to overtly back English over regional languages as the medium of instruction in the state’s government-aided primary schools.
After he was sacked, nearly 2,000 full-time volunteers of the RSS in Goa announced their mass resignations from the Sangh and decided to support Velingkar, who is also mentoring a newly-founded political party, the Goa Suraksha Manch.
The Manch is contesting the state assembly polls scheduled for February 4, in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Shiv Sena. The MGP was a partner of the BJP in the alliance government in Goa.