Ferment and not feni is brewing in Goa this monsoon, after Pramod Muthalik announced his intention to set up a state unit of the Sri Ram Sene, a right-wing Hindu outfit that became nationally notorious five years ago, when its activists attacked youngsters in a Mangalore pub.

Muthalik says he wants to end Goa’s culture of “wine, drugs and nakedness.” He told reporters in Panaji last week that “the image of Goa in the rest of India is bad”, after delivering a speech at the All-India Hindu Convention held in Ramnathi village, 35 km from Panaji. “Young men and women from Delhi and other places say, ‘Let's go to Goa to enjoy the wine, drugs and nudity there.’”

Muthalik promised he wouldn't use violence to achieve his ends, but his record doesn’t inspire confidence. He was at the helm of the Sri Ram Sene in 2009, when more than three dozen of the organisation's activists attacked young men and women drinking in a Mangalore pub because they felt the youngsters were violating traditional values. A year later, a Tehelka sting showed Muthalik accepting money in exchange for staging an attack on an art exhibition in a bid to excite communal tension.

Even the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has a pro-Hindu outlook, found him a liability during the election campaign. Muthalik joined the BJP days before the Lok Sabha elections but had to quit within hours after some party leaders, including Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, said his presence would hurt the BJP’s prospects.

Muthalik said at the press conference that he wanted to ally with the Catholic Church in Goa to achieve his goals. “All churches have banned women in short skirts,” he said. “Roaming naked is wrong and they [the churches] know that. Sex after drugs and alcohol is also a wrong thing. How can one accept your sister or my sister dancing naked in a club?”

His plan is not as outrageous as it might seem. The Archdiocese of Goa, which represents all Roman Catholic churches in the state, indirectly helped the BJP to win the assembly election in 2012. Instead of issuing its usual message to its constituency not to vote for communal forces, a code word for the BJP, it asked people to vote against corruption, which by then had become associated with the Congress. This helped the BJP.

But now that the BJP has won the state and general elections, its attitude towards Muthalik has discernibly softened. “We will not ban Sri Ram Sene from entering the state,” Wilfred Misquita, state BJP vice president, said, adding that Muthalik's violence was a problem but his ideology was not.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, too, has been evasive on queries related to Muthalik. At a press conference at his residence on Friday he said that he would not allow people to take the law into their hands but declined to comment on the Sri Ram Sene.

Parrikar’s administration has been working for a while to create a climate conducive to the entry of right-wing Hindu groups into a state where Christians – mostly Catholics – account for more than a quarter of the population.

Parrikar’s state budget this year is revealing in this regard. It lays out the red carpet to organisations promoted by Baba Ramdev and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Indresh Kumar. The budget has a provision for yoga teachers trained at Ramdev's Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth to design and implement yoga education modules in the state’s several hundred government schools. It also promises funds to Ramdev's Bharat Swabhiman Kisan Sanstha to set up sheds to tackle the problem of stray cattle in Goa.

Parrikar’s budget also announced the setting up of an academy to study national security and strategic issues. It will be run by the Forum for Integrated National Security, founded by Indresh Kumar, who has been interrogated by investigating agencies for his suspected involvement in a bomb blast at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan in 2007.

Muthalik, for his part, is confident of winning over Parrikar. “I've got the same sanskar (culture) as Parrikar,” he said. “We are both from the RSS.”