Will Congress embrace Churchill once again?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 17 May 2016 21:09 IST

Churchill Alemao may not be welcome to the Congress any more unlike in the past, when the heavyweight politician of Salcete was always embraced by the party for want of votes.

On the occasion of his 67th birthday yesterday, Churchill volunteered to join Congress and contest from Benaulim.

“If not, then I would contest independent”, he said, in his usual blackmail style.

But this threat hardly had any impact on his one-time political guru, Goa Congress chief Luizinho Faleiro.

Faleiro had to face a defeat from Churchill in 2007 election after winning from Navelim for five times since 1984.

Reacting to Churchill’s statement, Faleiro said he has been saying this almost for a year.

“It is his wish list. I can’t comment on what he wishes. We will inform you if we decide about it”, he said, avoiding a direct reply and showing any enthusiasm in his wishful homecoming. 

Not only Churchill but Goan electorate had rejected the whole Alemao family in 2012 election – Churchill in Navelim, his daughter Valanka in Benaulim, Churchill’s brother Joaquim in Cuncolim and Joaquim’s son Yuri in Sanguem.

Even after five years, neither Congress nor the people are in a mood to accept Churchill back into political arena.

In addition, the former PWD minister is also caught up in the multi-crore JICA tendering scam along with former chief minister Digambar Kamat.

While blackmailing the Congress with a threat to contest independent, Churchill has also requested Faleiro to contest from Navelim, assuring his support.

       

“I have made it clear umpteen times that I am not interested in contesting Goa election any more”, says Faleiro, who has already tendered his resignation even as the state party president.

He is holding on to the position, waiting for Gandhi family to appoint his successor.

On the other hand, former chief minister Ravi Naik, who had once put Churchill behind the bars on smuggling charges, has fully backed his one-time political rival.

Speaking at his birthday party, Ravi in fact even went to the extent of defending Churchill in the scam charges.

“He is being framed in the case because the opponents are scared even of his shadow”, claimed Ravi.

On the other hand, Churchill’s opponents in the Congress are planning to object to his homecoming when party observer Digvijay Singh arrives in Goa tomorrow.

They fear that Churchill’s homecoming would severely affect party’s image in the next election.

Churchill had quit Congress at the time of 2014 Lok Sabha election and had contested on the ticket of Trinamool Congress.

He lost the election miserably to BJP MP Narendra Savoikar, garnering hardly 12,000 votes in a 5.45 lakh strong South Goa constituency. 

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