Congress to defeat Congress in South?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 22 March 2014 13:08 IST

The Congress appears to have been cornered in South Goa by its own Congressmen as the Church suddenly took a strong stand against the BJP, hinting at indirect support to the Congress.

The Church, through its social outfit Council for Social Justice and Peace, came out almost directly against the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

“Sadly, in the past few years the ‘secular spirit’ has been infiltrated by corporate communal forces visible even in Goa… It is convincingly apparent that the ‘Election Campaign’ even in these first stages, supported by the Media, is geared towards the promotion of one individual as if this is a Presidential Election”, stated Fr Savio Fernandes, executive secretary of CSJP.

The buzz is that sitting MP Francisco Sardinha was dropped last minute and his arch rival, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco, was announced as the Congress candidate at the behest of some ‘politicians’ who negotiated between the Church and the Congress.

Congress has always been winning the South Goa seat, mainly with minority votes, concentrated in Salcete and Mormugao talukas.

Even in the last Lok Sabha election held in 2009, Sardinha won the poll by 12,585 votes, solely because of the huge lead in Salcete (27,474) and Mormugao (1836). Otherwise, the BJP was leading in rest of the talukas – Ponda, Quepem, Sanguem and Canacona – by 16,725 votes.

In order to try and change this picture in this Lok Sabha election when the BJP is ruling the state, at least three Congressmen have come forward to sabotage their own party.

One among them, Churchill Alemao, has quit the Congress to contest as an independent.

Shalom Sardinha, sitting MP Sardinha’s son, has also quit the Congress to contest as an independent.

Though senior Sardinha claims that he is not aware of his son’s decision, he also says he has not yet decided whether to support Lourenco.

Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho has also come out publicly against his own party, claiming that ‘his workers’ have compelled him not to support the Congress candidate in this election.

On the other hand, Goa Vikas Party leader and Nuvem MLA Mickky Pacheco is also planning to contest the Lok Sabha election.

The GVP has two MLAs – Mickky in Nuvem and Caitu Silva in Benaulim, supporting the BJP government.

 

Besides these two, independent MLAs – minister Avertan Furtado from Navelim and Benjamin Silva from Velim – are also supporting the BJP government.

On the other hand, however, the United Goans Democratic Party as well as independent MLA Vijay Sardesai from Fatorda, have decided to rally behind the ‘secular’ forces (Congress), rather than splitting anti-communalism (anti-BJP) votes.

Sardesai in fact has even declared that it would be an election of ‘leaders versus cadres’.

Though leaders from both the sides are making Mopa versus Dabolim air ports as the election issue, the real issue is whether to defeat the BJP in the South (especially Salcete) or rescue the ruling party.

It was clear that chief minister Manohar Parrikar could form the government with a clear majority of 21 because it could get five Christian-dominated constituencies of Aldona, Calangute, St Andre, Vasco and Cortalim with the BJP tag.

Besides, the GVP also supported the BJP government with Nuvem and Benaulim constituencies in Salcete while two independents – Avertan and Benjamin – again from Navelim and Velim in Salcete rallied around the BJP.

This has swollen the ruling coalition to 25 while three MGP MLAs and two more independents from the North – Porvorim and Bicholim – have also made it 30-member strong coalition in the 40-member House.

Keeping an eye on Salcete and Mormugao, the Parrikar government also pleased the Church by continuing the Congress policy of giving salary grants to all the Church-run Diocesan Society of Education’s primary schools.

However, the Modi factor turned out to be more serious issue than the Medium of Instruction or teaching lesson to corrupt Congress, unlike the scenario at Assembly election hardly two years ago.

The South Goa election would thus turn out to be the most interesting election in recent times with minority leaders falling apart while the BJP is ruling the state.

The Congress with Lourenco as its face would probably be supported by the Church and other anti-BJP forces while some of the minority leaders like Alemaos, Sardinhas and Pachecos may play ‘spoilers’, which would ultimately benefit the BJP.

If ultimately the BJP succeeds, then the credit would obviously go to the one-time ‘loyal soldiers’ of the Congress for defeating the Congress in South Goa. 

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Previous Comments

South Goa Congress right candidate select by humpy

dumpy congress by Goa congress chief. But north is not

right candidate for Congress ex-Maharashtra Gomantak,

and drug dealer. Do not follow or listen Mr. Mickky Pacheco

he play dirty game. He has no shame we have word in

English close the eyes and shot the base. He is that type

of guy. One who not believe mother and father how come

he well treated other. He was a real goan he should give

up politics. Micky should cover his face and face to the

people. What Sardinha done for goa and Churchill done

for his own gain like railways and goondagiri.

- Sanjay Kumar, Goa | 24 th March 2014 14:58

 

Congress Is Gone From Goa!

- Jose Rod, Goa | 22 nd March 2014 14:20

 

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