The launching of Goemkar by independent MLA and wily politician, Vijai Sardessai is likely to open up another front in Salcete given the forces that have aligned with him. And one thing is certain –the future of the outfit depends on the kick off meeting which will be held at Lohia Maidan, Margao.
Speaking to media after the press conference held in the capital Saturday, Vijai denied that his ‘social forum’, had any political ambitions but he did not deny outright that the outfit was looking to be the conscience of the people or in his words “espouse the voice of the people.”
Taking a leaf from Arvind Kejriwal led ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ that converted itself from a mass movement for a strong Lokayukta to a political party, Goemkar seeks to hit at both the established parties and make a place for itself in the place vacated by them. In Salcete, it seeks to get the space vacated by the Congress after being beset by persistent allegations of corruption, vacillating on MoI and not taking any action against the environmental damage created by mining. “Why do we have to go to anybody (to give support). If they want they can come to us,” he retorted when constrained to respond if this was not a forum with political ambitions.
However, though sources confirmed that there were offers by Churchill Alemao to the outfit, Vijai denied any such offers. But given the earlier proximity of Sardesai to the strongman – they fell out during the last elections over Valanka Alemao and the youth Congress elections – though his denials of the same, reports say that a rapprochement between them has indeed taken place.
If taken with the apparent new found bonhomie between the GVP chief and his bête noir Churchill, this could form a potent force in the South in case the revulsion against the Alemao family and the family rule issue has died in the run up to the Lok Sabha election.
“Governments led by both the BJP and the Congress have taken decisions on mining, tourism, agriculture, the Regional Plan 2021, ODPs of cities, khazan lands that have harmed the future of Goem and Goemkars,” Sardesai told media, trying to strike a chord in the South, especially Salcete, even as at his first press conference he argued that the formation of this organisation had become the need of the hour because of the present social and economic scenario of the state, in which the interests of the Goan seemed to be last, on the government priority list.
The 35 member steering committee includes people close to Margao MLA, Digambar Kamat, some who played a large part in toppling Churchill and his colleagues from the Youth Congress as well as activists.
Sardessai called on all Goemkars to cast aside all differences and to come together to ensure a better Goem for each and every Goemkar and appealed to them to turnout in large numbers at the Lohia Maidan, so that voice of Goemkars is heard loud and clear. [H]