Goans looking for credible opposition
Goans looking for credible opposition
Over the past 5 years, the performance and role of opposition parties has been lax and lackluster. Although the Congress led by Luizinho Faleiro, as president of the state party, achieved an impressive victory and became the largest political force in Goa with 17 seats and supporting the PCN and the Congress-backed independents, winning 4 additional seats in the 40-member room. The BJP only scored 13.
Curiously, a few hours after the proclamation of the results of the elections to the Assembly in 2017, the late Manohar Parrikar, with 3 deputies of the MGP and 3 deputies of the Goa Forward Party of Vijai Sardesai, swallowed up the support of the independents and crossed the magic figure of over 20 assembly seats in Goa and formed the government.
What is unforgivable and disastrous for the opposition forces is the abandonment of the deputy seat by congressmen, starting with Vishwajeet Rane by Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar. The latest nail to the coffin of Congress woes has been the massive exodus of MPs specifically from Salcete to the BJP, making today’s Congress a party of pranksters and non-entities with four former CMs biting the dust and appearing irrelevant in today’s political scenario. There are only a few months left for the announcement of the 2022 assembly elections to the Goa assembly.
Opposition parties and Goan Assembly independents are now scrambling to make themselves relevant in Goa’s current political scenario.
As it stands, the BJP in the state wins every election to civic bodies, panchayats, zilla panchayats and Congress as it stands today is considered an exhausted force. Today all of Goa sees a great void of opposition and the BJP is omnipotent and omniscient in every nook and cranny of Goa. Interestingly, disgruntled one- and two-way BJP members add to the Congressional prize pool, but it doesn’t add up or translate into votes and public trust.
Vote for Congress but the deputy goes to BJP. So the people in general fear not only to vote for Congress, but also hate to become a member of Congress. The ex-CMs of past Congressional governments have done nothing valuable to build confidence and rally the anti-titular and bad governance forces of the BJP. Quite well, the Aam Aadmi Party lately sees and is also well aware of the void of opposition forces in Goa. On the morning of April 12, I accidentally and accidentally met Manish Sisodia, the Chief Deputy Minister of the New Delhi Assembly at a small restaurant in the city of Panjim.
After having breakfast, I have ‘hello’ the smiling Sisodia, who was a few meters away in the tea house. I told him clearly and frankly that the AAP had worked well in the Salcete area, but still had a long way to go to please the hearts of the people of Panjim in particular and Goa in general. It was the dharnas of Sisodia and Kejriwal, the turmoil and common man’s problems that drew the common man to Delhi. The Delhi leaders of the AAP were at the forefront of providing water and electricity connections to those who wanted the water and electricity bases that conquered the heart of the capital. While in opposition in New Delhi the AAP was able to deliver but in Goa the AAP volunteers have yet to show that they are capable of governance and powerful enough to deliver. .
There is the threat of the casino and the disastrous terminal that rises and pollutes the Mandovi River. The AAP Goa unit is not going to hammer and clench its teeth to help delay the destruction of the capital by the BJP mismanagement.
Over the past 6 months, the AAP has had to tackle the problems of the destruction of Mandovi and the disasters in the capital by the lobby of casinos and traders. There are issues of the garbage stench, traffic issues, coal pollution and destruction of heritage status that have been ignored.
It is no secret that the series of U-turns and anti-popular projects blessed by BJP leaders who have been responsible for the decay and destruction of Goa and Panjim in particular.
The AAP in Goa must remain equidistant from Congress as well as the rejections and rebels of the BJP.
Goa has a large number of committed social activists and responsible men among the common man of Goa. Congress has not addressed the serious problem of the defection of their MPs over the past two years. A symbolic petition to the Speaker of the Goa Assembly or to the courts in the last moments of the Assembly’s term is a cruel joke.
Overall, the opposition forces in Goa have done nothing of value to seriously address the youthful issues of the common man. Regular press briefings and social media tweets would not get any opposition votes. Certainly, there is an acute “anti-vacancy factor” that opposes the BJP, especially due to its poor administration and poor governance of the economy, biodiversity and holistic development. Our government of Goa tourism, mining, industrial and environmental policies are a total failure. But for the BJP’s fortune, the opposition forces are at six and seven with the non-entities ruling the roast and holding the mantle of the BJP’s “suspect deputy”.
The battle cry for 2022 will soon be announced and we the people must lift our socks and rise to the challenge.
(The writer is a retired university professor and environmental activist.)