Aam Aadmi Party senior national leader and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia's move to cash on the drift in BJP and Congress is a political masterstroke that will push the rivals on the back foot. His stress on the vision of Goa's development envisaged by the former chief minister and BJP iconic leader Manohar Parrikar besides a brief highlight of Bhausaheb Bandodkar footprint on the education sector meant that there was a clear sense of purpose behind Sisodia’s visit.
The timing of the Delhi leader’s visit to Goa may have raised many eyebrows because it has come when the national capital is facing a grim battle against Covid with 10,732 cases recorded on Sunday's health bulletin, the highest single-day surge to date. But in politics, just like the game of cricket, timing becomes very crucial, and Sisodia has tried to play this time on the front foot. The discontent within the BJP ranks is loud and clear. Also, Goa is heading towards a political churn with the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Rajesh Patnekar set to dispose of two disqualification petitions before him while the Chief Justice of India is awaiting Patnekar's order to proceed on another petition on the same matter before the Supreme Court.
The endorsement of Parrikar's vision by AAP is a bold move on the political chessboard that could open up new vistas for the loyalists of the late chief minister who are now relegated to the sidelines and have been considered redundant in the new political equations. A case in point is in Panaji itself where Atanasio Monserrate, alias Babush, who has emerged as the new face of BJP, shutting the doors for Utpal Parrikar and former MLA Sidharth Kuncalienker. This could be good news for the many strong followers of Parrikar's ideology who have fallen out of favour in the new dispensation, more especially after a breakaway 10-member section of the Congress switched sides.
By invoking Parrikar and his development mantra AAP has tried to use the BJP shortcomings to their advantage, least expected by the saffron team. For many who had found themselves at the end of party road, this call has offered a new pathway to reckoning, not only for those in the BJP but also the Congressmen who split ranks and have hung on as dissidents. Former Mahila Congress President Pratima Coutinho dumping the party after serving it for over two decades before abruptly joining AAP is a classic case of the divisions within the grand old party.
AAP has made a robust start with a discussion on the roadmap for the 2022 elections and the vision of development. The recent Zilla Panchayat elections and the first phase of Municipal elections have shown that the popularity of the party is swelling. To back it up, the party has a proven track record under the tried and tested leadership of Arvind Kejriwal. It is to be seen how the BJP and Congress manage to keep their flock together.