Panaji: Subhash Velingkar, the RSS rebel and regional language crusader, on Sunday announced formation of a new political party - Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) - ahead of the state Assembly polls. However, his name did not figure in the first list of office-bearers released today.

The Goa Suraksha Manch would be headed by Anand Shirodkar, a senior Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) leader. Velingkar, who heads the BBSM, said the newly formed party has its presence across 35 (out of 40) constituencies of Goa and is determined to defeat BJP in the state polls due next year.

BBSM has been agitating against the state government while demanding mother tongue be made medium of instruction and withdrawal of grants to English medium schools.

Notably, the first list of office-bearers, which was announced on Sunday, did not have Velingkar’s name in it. “We are in talks with parties like Shiv Sena and Goa Praja Party for alliance during Goa polls. Our proposal to Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) to join hands also stands. If MGP responds, we can discuss seat sharing with them. But with or without MGP, we are going to defeat BJP," Velingkar said. He said the existence of BBSM will continue even after formation of GSM.

BBSM’s political cell head Uday Bhembre said that the party will also focus on various other issues like power and water in the state. “Goa has to be self sustainable on water and power fronts. These issues will also be given priority along with the medium of instruction, if the party comes to power," Bhembre said.

The BBSM has decided to be in the electoral fray to oppose the ruling BJP in Goa after the ruling party refused to withdraw grants to English medium schools. The RSS had recently ‘relieved’ its Goa Vibhag Sangh Chalak Velingkar, who then formed a parallel outfit called RSS Goa Prant. The BBSM has been agitating demanding regional languages as medium of instruction in the state’s elementary education.

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