BJP legislator uses God to attack own government

Panaji, Sep 13 (IANS) A disgruntled ruling BJP legislator has tried to combine the power of Facebook and divinity of Lord Ganesha to launch a scathing attack on his own government.

Vishnu Wagh, also a noted dramatist and writer, has uploaded a video on his Facebook wall, where he is seen ritualistically imploring Lord Ganesh to perform a miracle this year to replace "the incumbent government of the rich and replace it with a government which benefits a common man".

"People with full stomachs are in power right now. The incumbent government is for the rich. Replace it with a government which benefits a common man. You solve this problem... We want a miracle from you within a year," Wagh said in his 'garane' or ritualistic prayer to Lord Ganesh.

Offering garane is a popular but dramatic religious ritual in Goa, where the worshipper invokes the deity, thanks the god and then seeks blessings and makes fervent requests.

While the host gregariously performs the garane, other worshippers who hang around join in with a vociferous 'Hoi Saiba' or 'Yes my lord' after every demand is made.

Even before he performed the garane at his residence, the Bharatiya Janata Party legislator has been extremely vocal in his criticism of the Goa government, claiming that corruption was rampant and not much was being done to curb it.

Wagh, a leading protagonist of the vernacular languages lobby, had also been critical about the BJP-led coalition government's penchant for tacitly backing English as a mode for education.

"This is completely against the interest of the state. Corruption is rampant and there is nothing being done to keep it under check," said Wagh, who a section of the media has suggested is angling for an election ticket from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

While Wagh has publicly denied this, the BJP maintains that there is no rift within the party and "whatever differences Wagh has expressed are being discussed and the party will find a solution".

With his garane upload on Facebook, Wagh has taken his dissent a notch further.

Dressed in a traditional dhoti worn in these parts and bare-torsoed, Wagh says people in Goa were in distress due to the misrule and "no one is happy".

"People are looking at you in hope. You find a way. You stand behind those who are trying to better the situation. Please back those who are for truth. Please help start a new revolution in Goa," Wagh said, not-too-subtly critiquing the Manohar Parrikar-led coalition government.

Speaking to IANS, a senior BJP leader said Wagh should not have involved a religious interface to attack the government and the party.

"This is not the way to do it, by stoking religious sentiment. There are mechanisms within the party to look into complaints and other issues," the party leader said.

The Congress is licking its lips and goading Facebookers to 'like' the video on Wagh's wall.


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