Statistics reveal AAP’s announcement on Bhandari CM, Catholic Dy CM a masterstroke

A closer look at the statistics reveal, the announcement will help Aam Aadmi Party in almost 30 plus constituencies, considering both Bhandari and Catholic voters.
Now the real problem starts for the ruling BJP, it may have won the just-concluded elections in Zilla Parishad and Municipality, but the problem remains the BJP has kept the Bhandari’s away from power. The BJP may have 15 catholic MLAs but very few Bhandari MLAs and ministers.
The Chief Minister and the BJP State president, too, are non-Bhandaris.
Agreed, the Bhandari’s are a traditional voter to BJP, and with the AAP throwing the towel in BJP stong-hold, one has to see how the saffron-brigade reacts to the challenge.
SURAJ NANDREKAR
Editor, Goemkarponn

 

Notwithstanding the criticism from various quarters on caste-based politics and so also a few Bhandari leaders addressing a press conference to criticise the Aam Aadmi Party for the announcement of Bhandari CM face and Catholic as Dy CM face, one has to agree that it was a masterstroke by the Arvind Kejriwal led party.
If one takes a closer look at the statistics, one finds that there are 3,35,956 Bandari voters in the State out of 11,34,845 voters. This means 29.60 per cent of the voters are Bhandaris. (see table).
Similarly, 2,85,953 voters are from the catholic community, which is a whopping 25.20 p.c voters.
Catholic and Bhandari’s combination has 6,21,909 voters, which is 54.8 p.c of Goan voters.
Master strategy, isn’t it?
Bhandaris are a dominant force (above 25 %) in Saligao – 44.48%; Shiroda 45.26%, St Andre – 25.95%; Thivim – 32.27%; Aldona – 30.40%; Siolim – 37.12%; Pernem – 51.21%; Sanguem – 38.60%; Mayem – 51.87%; Cumbharjua – 32.96%; Canacona – 34.76%; Sanvordem – 46.86%; Curchorem – 27.14%; St Cruz – 25.19%; Marcaim – 46.41%; Mandrem – 34.22%; Porvorim – 29.54%; Valpoi – 39.15%; Mapusa – 27.45%; Priol – 41.05%; Sanquelim – 40.73%; Poriem – 41.34%; Mormugao – 27.11%; Ponda – 25.89%; Bicholim – 31.34%.
Similarly, Catholics are dominant in Nuvem – 80.16%; Benaulim – 80.48%; Velim – 73.08%; Thivim – 43.02%; Calangute – 53.80%; Saligao – 29.65%; Curtorim – 57.84%; Cuncolim – 50.82%; St Andre – 38.67%; Aldona – 34.10%; Siolim – 27.01%; Fatorda – 35.75%; Quepem – 34.17%; Cortalim – 39.47%; Curchorem – 27.35%; Navelim – 38.92%; St Cruz – 24.89%.
A closer look at the statistics reveal, the announcement will help Aam Aadmi Party in almost 30 plus constituencies, considering both Bhandari and Catholic voters.
Now the real problem starts for the ruling BJP, it may have won the just-concluded elections in Zilla Parishad and Municipality, but the problem remains the BJP has kept the Bhandari’s away from power. The BJP may have 15 catholic MLAs but very few Bhandari MLAs and ministers.
The Chief Minister and the BJP State president, too, are non-Bhandari.
Agreed, the Bhandari’s are a traditional voter to BJP, and with the AAP throwing the towel in BJP stong-hold, one has to see how the saffron-brigade reacts to the challenge.
Of course, the CM face option is a win-win situation for both the Bhandari’s and the AAP. Even if AAP garners 20 to 30 per cent of the votes in the above constituencies from Bhandari’s and Catholics, then it will be a very difficult election for the BJP.
This is not the first time such a strategy is being used. This combination was previously used by Manohar Parrikar, which helped BJP gain the majority; this is now a clear-cut masterstroke apart from politics of alliance and other stuff.
It’s a clear-cut strategy to defeat BJP, and there are already multiple reactions within the Bhandari and Catholic communities and in the political fraternity.
So it looks like AAP has definitely gained on this front.
Talking on the caste-based politics in Goa, over the last four decades purely through the lens of the Other Backward Classes or the Bhandaris in Goa, they have been the dominant force with very little power. In six decades of liberation, the community has had just one chief minister in Ravi Naik for 27 months.
In Goa’s social hierarchy Bhandaris or OBCs, as they are generally known, consist of a vast number of castes that sit between the upper castes and the Dalits and Adivasis, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
They are generally believed to account for more than half of Goa’s population, though we don’t know the numbers since the last census was done in 2011, which was without the caste column.
One question remains, where does the BJP stand on the AAP announcement?
The leadership has so far been quiet. It hasn’t reacted to the AAP’s challenge.
If the BJP were indeed interested in the welfare of Bhandari’s and OBCs they would have handed over power to the OBCs in a big way, long ago.
If BJP had done that, it might have deepened the appeal of the party among a huge swathe of the population for even longer.

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