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Goa: Velingkar mulls rejoining RSS


Panaji, Feb 27: After contesting the Goa Assembly polls against the BJP, rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar on Monday said a call would be taken on either merging his breakaway 'Goa prant' with parent body or dissolving it.

Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar

Responding to Velingkar's statement, incumbent Goa RSS chief Laxman Behre said the Sangh would welcome anybody to its fold.

"We have faced elections under the banner of Goa Suraksha Manch. It was decided that we will form the Goa Prant and stay separate from Konkan Prant of RSS to avoid the pressure by pro-BJP forces in the Sangh. Now that the elections are over, we will have to decide whether to merge Goa Prant with RSS or dissolve the unit. The decision will be taken after taking swayamsevakas into confidence," Velingkar said, fuelling speculations of the merger.

Behre said they have not received any formal proposal from anyone for merger or otherwise.

"But if someone wants to come to the Sangh, they are welcome. Anyone can join the Sangh," he told PTI responding to Velingkar's statement.

Velingkar was relieved as Goa RSS chief last September following his decision to float GSM to counter the BJP during the assembly elections. The Velingkar faction had serious differences with ruling BJP over the issue of medium of instruction for elementary education in the coastal state.

Velingkar, who had been with the Sangh for almost half a century, had then maintained that the rebel cadres' affiliation with the RSS headquarters in Nagpur will continue. He had blamed fellow Goan and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for the rift. He recently said the process to decide future of Goa Prant of RSS has begun.

Meanwhile, indicating that RSS was receptive to such proposal, Behre said the seniority of all the leaders would be respected and maintained, if they indeed return.

"Those who have worked for years in the Sangh, their seniority will always remain," he said, adding no thought has been given whether the rebels would be reinstated on the same positions they were holding before the break-up.

"There is no proposal from them of any sort so the issue does not arise at least for now," he clarified.

Velingkar-led Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch had been holding protests against the state government seeking withdrawal of grants to English-medium schools. The core committee of the Goa Prant held a marathon meeting in Panaji on Sunday to initiate the process of deciding the future of the group.

GSM had contested the February-4 elections on six seats in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Shiv Sena.

He, however, said the GSM would continue to play a crucial role in the affairs of the state.


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