"Independent" members of Congress family

By Sandesh Prabhudesai
30 June 2010 22:20 IST

Health minister Vishwajeet Rane joining the Congress has opened up Pandora's Box.

Actually, there is nothing strange in it. As elections start approaching, all such characters join the Congress. Once they are denied tickets, they either catch hold of some regional outfits like UGPD/MGP or even the so called national party like NCP, get elected with thumping majority and become coalition partners with ministerial berths of either the Congress or the BJP, whichever heads the government.

The ideology simply does not matter, either for the so called ‘ideological' parties like the Congress and the BJP or the so called ‘regional' parties like the UGDP, MGP etc. Or otherwise, they contest as Independents like Vishwajeet.

But this is not the reason why I am calling it opening Pandora's Box. Vishwajeet was denied ticket in the last Assembly election. The reason? The great principle of the Congress. No two tickets in one family. The Papa Rane (Speaker Pratapsing Rane) was obviously contesting from his traditional Poriem constituency. Vishwajeet was thus denied ticket from Valpoi.

No bother. Very very easy to hoodwink the high command. One strange guy was announced as the Congress candidate from Valpoi. Last minute, he withdrew and simply disappeared. It was a cakewalk for Junior Rane, by defeating the BJP candidate Puti Gaonkar. Now, I hear, this Puti is already in the Vishwajeet camp. For his by-election (since he resigned to join the Congress), the junior Khashe has announced that he would not do anything - no posters, no banners, no moving from house to house, nothing. See the power of democracy (or moneycracy?)!

By now, the Yuvaraj of Sattari has started spreading his tentacles like an Amoeba. He got Pratap Gawas elected from Pale, after his MLA brother Gurudas expired. Besides Sattari, his vitamin M is making waves also in Bicholim taluka. In Zilla Panchayat elections held recently, he even posed a threat to home minister Ravi Naik in his Ponda constituency by defeating his candidates in places like Kurti-Khandepar. Political observers tell me that he has also started concentrating on Pedne taluka, especially the Mandrem constituency.

With such kind of power, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Congress to stick to its great principle of no two tickets in one family. The first exception to the rule was Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. If there was no relaxation of the rule after that, Ranes has to be the second exception. No choice to ‘poor' Congress.

That's not enough. Pratapsing and Vishwajeet Rane is not the only ‘case'. There are many more Gharanas in Goan politics that would follow. Like musical field, the musical chair of politics would also now have a Gharana system, thanks to degeneration of Goan politics and the great voters of Goa who vote for Gharaneshay.

While Joaquim Alemao was elected on the Congress ticket from Cuncolim, Churchill had defied the high command to contest from Navelim by forming Save Goa Party, to defeat his one-time political mentor Luizinho Faleiro. Simultaneously, he also got Alex Reginaldo Lourenco elected from Curtorim, by defeating another Congress veteran - Francisco Sardinha, who was later rehabilitated as the South Goa MP.

Later, as usual, Churchill merged his anti-Congress SGP into the Congress, to become the PWD minister. The strongman has gone to the extent of making a public statement that he gives 90 rupees to the people, from the 100 rupees he gets from the government. What a public justification for his 10 per cent commission! In spite of this, the Congress will have no guts to deny tickets to both Alemao brothers - Churchill and Joaquim.

This huge personality with equally huge nuisance value however is not at all satisfied with this generosity.  He tried very hard to get South Goa MP's ticket for his lawyer-turned-politician daughter Valenka Alemao.  Now, he has already announced that she would contest from Benaulim, on Congress ticket.

Will the Congress now set up a new exception to the old exceptions of the rule by giving three tickets in one family? Does Congress have any choice? Because if it's denied, Alemao brothers are quite competent to get Valenka the ticket of either some regional party like UGDP or field her as an Independent. And in such a case, if the alliance ticket goes to NCP's Mickky Pacheco, then Congress will get yet another Independent MLA to supper its coalition government with ministerial berth - Valenka Alemao!

That is not all.  Industrialist and Sanguem  Independent     MLA Anil Salgaoncar's son Sameer Salgaoncar has also announced that he would contest from Mandrem, on Congress ticket. He clarified the matter recently to put an end to the rumours that the father would now field his son from Sanguem. But in the bargain, the ‘donation-fame' son has already granted himself the Congress ticket, without even waiting  for the so called high command to decide about it.

Secondly, unlike other two cases I mentioned earlier, here a so called Congressman is declaring party ticket for himself, while his father is the Independent MLA. It means the Congress has to give Sameer the ticket, if the ideological party wants support of his Independent father, to form a coalition government, if required.

There is yet another rumour making round. Education minister Babush Monseratte, who had ditched the party last minute to contest on UGDP ticket in last Assembly election and came back to the party fold recently, is - as the disciplined soldier of the Congress - now planning to field his wife Jennifer from Taleigao while he would contest from Panaji. That BJP leader Manohar Parrikar would shift to Porvorim, a new constituency, is the news.

There can be substance in this rumour, because Babush had quit Congress last time as his wife Jennifer was denied Congress ticket from St Cruz. Both of them contested on UGDP tickets. Babush won, but Jennifer lost. She is now the ZP member. Does Congress have guts to deny tickets to both of them?  If not, either both of them, or at least Jennifer, would be either the UGDP candidate or an Independent!

Whether it's Vishwajeet, Valenka, Sameer or Jennifer, these are all upcoming young brigade of the Congress, who is ever ready to sabotage their own party and contest as Independents. They are not at all dependent on the Congress. On the contrary, the Congress is dependent on them. For all of them - the Ranes, the Alemaos, the Salgaoncars or the Monseratts - Congress is their FAMILY. If the family does not accept them, they are Independent enough to take their own decision - to contest as enemies, get elected, support the coalition government, become ministers and then join back the Congress, as the DISCPLINED SOLDIER of the great over 100-year old biggest party of the country.

If the Congress does not agree to it, the Bharatiya Janata Party - yet another great party with a difference - is all ready to embrace these Independent family members of the Congress; provided they are allowed to open shops as the ministers and run their family business - POLITICS!

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

Blogger's Profile

Sandesh Prabhudesai

Sandesh Prabhudesai is a journalist, presently the Editor of goanews.com, Goa's oldest exclusive news website since 1996. He has earlier worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Prudent & Goa365, Goa's TV channels and Editor of Sunaparant, besides working as a reporter for Goan and national dailies & weeklies in English and Marathi since 1987. He also reports for the BBC. He is also actively involved in literary and cultural activities. After retirement from day-to-day journalism in 2020, he is into Re-Search Journalism (पुनर्सोद पत्रकारिता), focusing on analytical articles, Video programs & Books.

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Previous Comments

it has been reported in today's news papers that the officer who was caught red handed while accepting bribe by the ACB has spoken on tape that he was collecting the 2 lakh bribe to be given to the Minister!

If this was a country like US, the news media would have investigated into the matter and un-earthed the roots of the dirty deal. It is amazing that the media in those developed countries know their social obligations and are not scared to go after the rich, powerful and corrupt how soever highly placed he is!

On the contrary in this country the media is owned by most of the corrupt politicians and a few industrialists who may be dictating the policy of the newspapers and decide as to what to write and what to black out! This is the reason why you find the news papers filled with silly news like a minister inaugurating a toilet, or a senior bureaucrat visiting a particular hotel for dinner, or some news about the minister's cat or dog which was lost and later was traced by his supporters after putting in heroic efforts, and so on!

I think the proactive and honest role of the media is very important to keep a tab on the dishonest and corrupt, in an healthy democracy!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 02 nd July 2010 18:40


Dear Menino bab,

I have read several comments written by you. I have specially appreciated when you comment on the law & order situation in Goa. And since you were an ex-police officer, you know better the functioning of the Goa police. I wish all the honest police officers could revolt against the politicians by sacrificing their holy uniform instead of being a part of sins of omission and commission. I’ve understood that like every goan, your heart bleeds for Goa. And as a goan I am proud of you & all those who pray and fight to bring some sense in goan politics.

Thank you. May be my comments are good but the message should reach the heart of goans and should take roots, otherwise we will hear the same music for many more years to come. I assure you that I don’t have any relations with the persons suggested by me. I don’t mind any body being fielded provided some good can come to our motherland.

Everybody had high hopes in Digambar, but there are too many rotten apples and may be this is the time to show that the people of Goa are against the Congress regime. Logically Vishwajeet was elected as an independent, so he will naturally be elected due to his personality but by miracle a vote against the Congress would send a good signal.

Mr. Rane has been one of the best CMs of Goa. If he was the CM today, may be we would not have witnessed all this mess. I wish Vishwajeet could walk in his footpaths and do some good. During the last 3 years he has been so shy & silent. I had more respect for him when he had contested as an independent. He was denied the Congress ticket whereas the Alemao’s had been blessed by the same. I feel as an independent he had a precious card in his hand. Plus now, public funds will be again spent for an election.


- Francis Fernandes, Switzerland | 02 nd July 2010 16:21


My dear friend Vishwas. Which Adv. Aires Rodrigues are you talking about? If you are talking about Adv. Aires Rodrigues who was fighting Scarlet Keelings case then I beg to differ with due apologies and say you are wrong. If you say Dr. Rebello you are right and I agree with you. But if you are talking about the Aires Rodrigues I have mentioned above, then again Goa will go to rots. I agree that IRON CUTS IRON but this is not true here. If you get a corrupt to destroy corrupt, then I am very sorry to say that we are going back to the pavilion. I do not know much about Dr. Oscar Rebello but definitely have heard that he is a good person and we need all the MLAs who are good to get Goa back on the track and that can give the Goans their rights. The candidates for the election should be restricted to the following exceptions. To qualify for election they should.

1) Have minimum education of at least standard 12th in English Medium

2) For no reason be holding any criminal records against them irrespective that somebody framed one.

3) Be allowed one or two terms only

4) Minimum and maximum age limit.

5) Be above all honest and sincere

6) Be interviewed to see their integrity

If these conditions are fulfilled, then a candidate should be allowed to contest the election, failing which it should be NO! – Menino (Valpoi)

- Menino G. P. T. Fernandes (Valpoi/UK), United Kingdom of Great Britain | 01 st July 2010 20:47


Dr. Oscar Rebello or Adv. Aires Rodrigues would be the most suitable candidates who have proven themselves! And the common man feels that they could fight successfully the money power of the established parties!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 01 st July 2010 19:26


Vishwas bab,

We can do it. Join the fight. Read my comments before yours.

- Francis Fernandes, Switzerland | 01 st July 2010 19:17


The Judiciary, the Election Commission, the CBI, the Income-tax Dept, the Police and Vigilance, have to be made truly autonomous, if this dirt has to be cleaned, but the question is which party would do it? Last time when the BJP was in power at the Center for long four years, they did not do these important reforms, then what is the use of shouting all the time when in opposition that the CBI is being misused or the Police is is not allowed to work with free hand or the Income-tax Dept is vindictive to opposition etc?

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 01 st July 2010 16:14


Once you see money…you see only money, money & money. Let’s not blame our MLAs. If I was in politics, however clean I am, I am not very sure if I could remain a good apple while many were already rotten. We need to cleanse the whole system.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…We could make a humble beginning. There will be a bye-poll soon.

I am a faithful Congressman right from my adolescent period. Sonia & Rahul are doing their best to keep greedy coalition partners together in order to fulfil the Rajiv Gandhi dream to take India to the 21st Century. They try hard to serve the “Aam Admi” inspite of not having the required numbers. But it is really disgusting to see the opposite (Anti-Aam Admi) attitude in Goa. For the first time, I am ready to keep aside my love for the Congress and keep the goan interest forward. How many of you are ready to work for the victory of an independent candidate chosen by you. I am living abroad and as my contribution, I am ready to contribute 1 lakh rupees for this cause.

Likewise all those who can’t put a physical effort/who cant be physically present should help financially and let the people on the ground, the NGO’s and all those people who would like to see a change come forward.

Strategy: There will be a tough fight between the Congress & BJP, a third candidate could win!

Let’s use GOANEWS internet site as the platform and liberate us from greedy politicians.

Let’s show the politicians that the goans are susegad to react but do get up in time!

This will be the people’s first victory!

Then, in the general elections in 2011, we shall field 40 independent candidates and get them all elected and in this way cleanse the political mess in Goa.

We can do it!

I would suggest a few leaders for the bye-poll:

Ramakant Khalap (because of his clean image & rich experience but only if he’s ready to resign from the Congress)

Dr. Oscar Rebello

Dr. Francisco Colaco

Sabina Martins (GBA)

Auda Viegas

Sandesh Prabudessai

Aires Rodrigues

…Any good candidate from that constituency.

Best of luck!

Sorry Congress & sorry Vishwajeet. I love Goa even more than my own mother because if Goa didn’t exist, I would not be a Goan! I wish to preserve my treasure, my motherland”GOA”

What do you say? Act now!!!

[email protected]

- Francis Fernandes, Switzerland | 01 st July 2010 16:05


Good analysis Sandesh. But we are forced to stay with these GHARANAs of Rane, Alemao, Monserat, Dhavalikar.... etc & MLA supplier party like UGDP. That is the secret of our STABLE Govt. Mahatma Gandhi's KHADI movement is detoriarited by his so called Congress followers by splitting the word as KHA & DI. These are the real killers of Mahatma Gnadi & not Nathuram Ghodse as these people kills him every now and then.

- Shekhar, Panaji Goa | 01 st July 2010 12:46


The elections are won by distributing money and other gifts to a section of voters has not remained a secret today! this money is collected by the corrupt politicians from the public exchequer through various means like taking commissions, cuts, percentages etc has also not remained a secret. A section of the voters casting their votes in return for money/gifts, has also not remained secret The candidates file affidavits about their assets at the time of elections does not serve the purpose as the election commission never scrutinizes or questions the disproportionate assets of the politicians over short stints in chair. The judicial system takes decades to give verdicts making delayed justice as denied justice! The Income-tax , CBI, Police, have never been given the desired autonomy to investigate and punish the corrupt and criminals!

All this degeneration has resulted in the dynasty rule and the honest people abstaining from politics!

Are,we the people are ourselves not responsible for all this dirt and degeneration? And we get what we deserve!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 01 st July 2010 09:42



Very nice write up. I wish other journalist too had guts to expose these mafias akin to 'la-familia' drug-lord gangsters of Mexico.

Boycotting elections will not help, instead the 'la familias' of Goa should be boycotted by sensible voters.

- JAGAN, USA | 01 st July 2010 07:05


Money is the answer to these wins ..cut the wings of these families Black/Laundered money earnings and you will see that they wont be able to win any more elections.

But that wont happen bcoz many houses run on this ill-gotten wealth ..hence the Dance of Democracy will continue.

- Amit, Goa | 01 st July 2010 00:18


Sanjay I don’t think the voters are ever going to do that. Wait and see the voters will re-elect these very politicians every time they contest an election. Like I said in one of my comments that the Goans have sold their souls for a few hundred rupees which don’t last even ten days. Unless all the present generation of Goans is gone, there is no way we’ll get proper and clean administrators. However you shout out at the people, the outcome – They will listen, chit chat with neighbours for a few days and then the story will be forgotten - It is also useless to educate the Goans who follow these guys blindly without glancing into their history. Some will not like what I am about to write and would probably call me anti-national. The Portuguese were wise enough to appoint judges from very very rich families only. Why? They would never take bribes and give wrong judgements. Just take the example of: Dr. Eurico Santano De Silva, Dr. Couto, Dr. Soares, Dr. Tito Gustavo Menezes, Dr. Noronha and there will be more who I cannot remember or do not know of. You try to bribe these above judges and that was your end. They would not leave you. I have seen one of the case with my own eyes as it happened in front of me at Margao at the residence of Dr. Eurico De Silva. So to uproot the old dirty politicians who now rely more on the outside force (voters) as Digamber Kamat himself said and adding to them the Goan supporters who would never leave their corrupt masters. Voters in Goa will never change anything given the present situation.

- Menino G. P. T. Fernandes (Valpoi/UK), United Kingdom of Great Britain | 30 th June 2010 23:07


These are unique Characters of Goa.

I think only solution left with voter is to boycott the elections.

- sanjay dessai, curchorem Goa | 30 th June 2010 22:37


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