NOW ELVIS GOMES IS A CONGRESSMAN! Happy days are back again in grand old Congress Party in Goa. It welcomed former bureaucrat and AAP Goa convener Elvis Gomes into its fold on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Says Gomes, “For me it will always be Goa first!” Gomes will be contesting the forthcoming assembly elections from Cuncolim.
By Our Special Correspondent
THE POLITICAL scene gets more and more amusing if you observe the current merry-go-round of goodbyes and hellos from old party to new party. From the sound of it the largest staid and elephantine Opposition party in Goa and India, the Congress (Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi Congress) is trying to catch some of the alchemy or chutzpah of the lively come lately Aam Aadmi party (AAP).
After the flurry of new entrants in the Aam Aadmi party (AAP), now it is the Congress’ turn. We find none other than former AAP chief Elvis Gomes, rudely sidelined almost a year ago by AAP High Command Arvind Kejriwal, coming in to join the Congress. Something he says he has been thinking over for many months and this is no jump-over in a hurry. He was welcomed into the Congress party to melodious band bajaa and a bevy of well-wishers at the Congress Office in Panaji on Sunday, August 8, 2021.
The Congress was in a newly found upbeat mood with former Chief Minister of Goa, now Opposition leader Digambar Kamat and several Congress Block leaders from down south Goa (which is a hotbed of political activity currently) present to join the welcoming celebration. A cheerful Congress President Girish Chodankar described Elvis Gomes as “a Goencho officer, upright person, who knows banking, the Central excise system, has been a director of prisons, he knows how Goa government working from the inside and I am happy he is joining us!”
Girish added Elvis Gomes’ bureaucrat’s experience of many years as well as the hard work he had done to set up AAP infrastructure in Goa, will help Youth Congress leaders gain insight into administration. Digambar Kamat formally welcomed Elvis Gomes into the Congress party with a huge bouquet of multicolored fresh flowers.
Elvis Gomes is not known to be a flamboyant politician in the making. He conveyed his thanks briefly to the Congress for believing in him, he said the Congress was the oldest party in Goa having seen statehood and given the State most of its steadfast policies of governance compared to today’s “kichadi rajkiran!” Considering how the BJP came to power illegally by snatching the Congress mandate in 2018 by encouraging the ten defections from the Congress. Grabbing power by hook or by crook is the BJP’s style of democracy!
He reiterated that his joining the Congress (reportedly along with other former AAP members) was not something emotional for him, he decided to take the plunge anew into politics after a lot of thinking of how he could be of service to Goa. He has decided to put his experience to use with the Congress party for the progress and development of Goa. For him it will always be Goa first.
He thinks the Congress with all its advantages and shortcomings is more secular and democratic than the BJP will ever be! Responding later to a query he said, yes, of course, if the Congress returns to power in the next elections coming up fast early 2022, many of today’s controversial projects which are not in the interests of Goans will be scrapped. The Congress is not for blindly obeying the diktat of the Centre in matters concerning the larger interests of Goa.
Reportedly, several of AAPs former well-wishers are also coming aboard the new Congress in the making along with Elvis Gomes. Elvis Gomes will be meeting Rahul Gandhi (Congress general secretary) shortly and the evergreen, reliable GPCC president Girish Chodankar, has confirmed that once Congress returns to power in the 2022 Assembly elections, the first thing it will do is scrap Section 16-B dealing with land conversions under Town & Country Planning.
The three controversial projects which have seen Goans coming out on the streets to protest bitterly are the expansion of highways, double-tracking of South Western Railway and the 400 megawatt power station coming up in the middle of the Mollem wildlife sanctuary. From the sound of it the Congress is learning a thing or two from AAP and is taking a special interest in Goa (especially because of the manner in which its victory was cleverly “stolen” the last time around in the elections battlefield).
Another note of cheer is that former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been appointed as the party’s senior election observer to Goa to oversee election strategies and coordination for the Assembly polls coming up. Chidambaram is known for his keen insight into troubled situations and is a seasoned politician in Indian politics.