Local Goa News

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Diggy today, Kejri on Sunday: Cong, AAP blow the poll bugle

Heightened political activity as Congress, AAP plan yatra, rally in State; government’s failure to deliver, corruption to be main points

PANJIM: A lot of dust is set to be raised in the coming days as the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) prepare to raise the political heat. While the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) may be strategizing in Delhi and Mumbai, its main opponent Congress, and new kid on the block AAP, are using public platforms in Goa to take their message to the people.
Congress will get first off the mark on Wednesday, when All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Goa desk in charge Digvijay Singh will lead a mashal yatra in Panjim highlighting the BJP-led government’s failures.
“This government has failed on all fronts including employment, price control, MoI, Regional Plan, casinos. People should protest the failures of this government,” Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Luizinho Faleiro said.
He said thousands of people will gather at KTC Bus stand and walk through the streets of Panjim to Azad Maidan. Similar mashaal yatras will be held in all constituencies.
“The countdown for the Goa polls is inching closer and all the parties have pulled up their socks to attract voters. Congress is leaving no stone unturned. Though we have been criticized of not being a strong opposition, we have exposed the government’s U-turns on several issues,” a senior Congress leader told Herald.
As it prepares to list the government’s failures, Singh’s presence in the State, particularly during a crisis, is considered a major boost. “He (Singh) knows the party inside out right from its debacle in the 2012 polls. He is often in Goa to resolve rifts between some of the party leaders or any crisis whatsoever,” a Congress leader said adding that the mashal yatra on Wednesday is a bid to rejuvenate the party.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Luizinho Faleiro said the Goa desk in-charge will take stock of the organizational set up and decide strategies for the upcoming election.
On Sunday, AAP leader, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, will be in Goa for his first public interaction after the formation of the party in Goa on Sunday. The party expects over 10,000 people to attend the rally. It is the culmination of its first phase of AAP’s election strategy. AAP Goa Convenor Valmiki Naik said the second and final phases will comprise taking suggestions on finalising candidates, discussion on local issues and election campaign.
Kejriwal’s visit will stress on the ‘non-corrupt’ governance in Delhi, which he intends to replicate in Goa should the party come to power. In a recently released video message appealing to the people to join the rally at Campal, he speaks of how Goans are fed up of corruption and corrupt politicians and takes a dig at the BJP and the Congress.
Kejriwal’s visit to Goa certainly holds importance, he said. “This time, we are working differently than the last election in 2014. At that time it was left to the State unit on how to fight elections and related issues. The result was however not up to our expectations.  We are now going slow and steady,” Naik said.
The rally, he said, will dwell on the work carried out by the party in Delhi as well as in Goa besides other parts of the country. “The rally is an important milestone. Goa will be a model state because though we have formed the government in Delhi, many things are not directly in our hands like police. Both national and State unit of AAP is excited,” he added.
Meanwhile, Singh will address the Congress executive committee meeting. The meeting is significant as new entrants from NCP, including former minister Nilkant Halarnkar and Trajano D’Mello will be accommodated at various levels. Party sources said Singh will appoint observers in all constituencies and they will prepare reports leading to finalisation of candidates.
The Congress’ minority cell held a day-long token hunger strike condemning the government’s anti-minority acts.
Congress’ Minority Cell Chairman Urfan Mulla  said, “The BJP government fooled the people with the promise to form the commission. Now they have done a U-turn on their assurance. We demand that the commission be formed immediately.” He said minorities are almost 37 per cent of the State’s voters.
Mulla also alleged that the government has failed set up a Haj House as promised by former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
They also demanded that the defunct Goa Minority Finance Development Corporation be revived providing financial assistance to needu people from the minority communities.
“This Corporation was formed during Digambar Kamat’s tenure as a Chief Minister. The Congress Party had even earmarked Rs 5 crore for the corporation. But the BJP-led government has refused to revive this corporation,” Mulla told reporters on the sidelines of the hunger strike.
In a related development, taking a dig at the government, NCP’s Central Observer for Goa Nawab Malik called Laxmikant Parsekar a ‘dummy chief minister’ and tagged Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as the super CM of Goa. Malik’s visit to Goa comes two days after D’Mello and Halankar along with hundreds of workers resigned from NCP to join Congress. The party observer however refused to relate his visit to the mass resignations.

Herald Goa News

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