ELVIS GOMES: FOR GOA NATURALLY!

Elvis Gomes: A man for our times!

By Tara Narayan

VERY few in India or for that matter Goa quit government jobs to be happy! But Elvis Gomes did just that – to join politics in the hope that in politics he would be better able to translate his vision of India. Bureacrat-turned-politician Elvis Gomes is one special man. He joined the Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party when it wanted to spread its wings in Goa. Everyone knows it was Elvis Gomes and his valiant team which introduced and built the infrastructure for AAP to sail along in the comparatively calmer waters of Goan politics.
Soon AAP forgot about Elvis Gomes and his team and sidelined him for another team. Gomes resigned as AAP convener in 2020 when he realized AAP was not for him. A lot of water flowed under the bridge and it seemed as if Elvis Gomes had disappeared from the public eye or so to speak, next thing we heard he was becoming a Congressman. He realized the Congress mindset was closer to his own mindset. Post-AAP politics decided to become a Congressman with a difference. At least I hope so! For there is something very disarming about Elvis Gomes, some say he doesn’t have enough charisma to be a winning candidate but then again what is charisma?
Look at the fake flamboyant charisma of some of our politicians who turn into puddles of disillusionment once you see through them! Naked emperors most of them, tin pot or not. On the other hand, the more I learn about Elvis Gomes I more I think he is for real, here is no tin pot politician on the make.
A Goan boy from Cuncolim (which has seen some history come and go, colonial times and in more recent times), husband, father of two children, a family man, he comes across more as a man for out times naturally with his squeaky clean background (Google and it’s not difficult to read the nitty gritty of his life or lifestyle). I knew him a little and the more I like him the more I want to know him some more. Low-key, not a trace of arrogance, absolutely sure of what is going wrong in this country and what needs to be rectified if we are to survive as a country with all the ups and downs of 75 years of independence, mostly Congressmen and women wielding political power.
If you are for a democratic, secular future, free from the politics of religion, caste and creed – Elvis Gomes is your man for the times in Goa. I would vote for him if I were residing in Cuncolin come the forthcoming elections. He is one busy man these days but he took time off to go down memory lane with me. If you are seeking a secular, democratic kind of future in this country post-75 years, I would say Elvis Gomes will do his best to deliver.
He comes across as more human than politician on the make. Having been a bureaucrat in government service for many years before quitting he knows how bogged down Goa and the country is with corruption from the top to bottom. The more I think about Elvis Gomes and his background the more I think he is a man for our times. The people of Goa need him more than he needs Goa, something like that!
Don’t laugh. A lot of bad things have happened to him which should not have happened but they happened and he took his time to come to terms with it – as convener of the Aap Aadmi party (AAP) he laid a first class foundation for the party from Delhi seeking power in Goa. Then they told him to go take a ride and he decided to lie low for a while before making up his mind surely to join the Congress party to see if he could make a difference for the better. He is not at all like AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal who exhorts Goans to take money from the Congress — but vote for AAP!

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Elvis Gomes: A meeting of minds for a younger government!

Just a freewheeling chat with Elvis Gomes….

QUESTION: As a former bureaucrat and as an IAS officer you can live a great life anyway, why step into the cesspool of politics anew?
ANSWER: You can say politics is like the underworld, it is difficult to root out if you are out of it! Politics touches us all and every voter is a politician at the end of the day.

Why did you choose to join the Congress?
Congress has a long past and has given us many elements to respect for their basic integrity. Congress gave us statehood, it cared for Goa and had concern for its ecology. During Congress times there was no fractured ideology and there was none of this polarization of voters and novelty factors which have happened with the BJP in power; thanks to Manohar Parrikar, who brought in a new kind of politics which we thought was dynamic, and got carried away by. It turned out to be an illusion. Corruption has become a disease in our politics and somewhere we have to put a stop to it.

Can corruption be eliminated?
Today the treasury is open for looting left and right. Corruption cannot be eliminated but it can be minimized. It was the Congress which brought in the RTI bill from which Manohar Parrikar got so much information for his own ends while in the Opposition and now the BJP is trying to dilute it. If the Congress comes to power in the 2022 Assembly elections and I am part of it, I will at least do whatever I can to strengthen the Right to Information bill. All information will be out, nothing will be hidden, I will make everything very transparent

But the Congress party too is famous for its corruption! Look at how in a short time the BJP has built up a solid infrastructure for itself and the party, while the Congress in power in Goa didn’t even invest in better office premises for itself, the current premises are falling apart…..
Yes, I agree with you on that. There has been a lot of selfishness and self-centered in the party, there was no thought for the party! I think the Youth Congress should play a stronger role and come up. We need our youth to come to the center stage…find your stage and come to the center. A lot can improve. We need proper voter education. Goans will not vote for their own detriment. Young Goans should come into the Congress fold and help clean up the mis-governance of the last ten years. Fighting elections is very important for a change, a better future. I believe in better systems in place…beyond that we cannot do much.

What about electoral malpractice which are playing a role in who wins and loses?
I do believe that the old ballot system is the best ultimately, but even paper voting can be faulty. A lot depends on the Election Commission which so far has been fair. I believe in better systems in place and have faith that things can be improved.

Congress Welcome: Opposition leader Digambar Kamat gifts flowers to Elvis Gomes to welcome him into the Congress family on August 8, 2021.

What do you wish for Goa?
I can say Goa has lost its peace of mind with the new kind of politics (of defections) and if we in the Congress come back to power one day, I will work towards restoration of Goa’s sossegad peace of mind which is very important for all sides. I know we are paying the price for some Goans’ greed but …as you can see now law and order has become a big issue, corruption is at all time high. There are so many anti-corruption cases filed in court, there is a huge backlog of them, in the thousands. The police have lost integrity and even in small matters there is so much interference.

You are a Cuncolim boy and are going to contest the Congress seat from there in the forthcoming Assembly elections, how many votes do you need to win?
I need 8,000 to 9,000 votes to win.

When you resigned from AAP is it true that your team too resigned and now they too will be joining the Congress party?
Yes, most of them will be, Sidharth Karapurkar, Ramiro Mascarenhas, Rodney Almeida, Sudin Mauzo, a few others.

What do you think of the government freebies culture being practiced, for example Goa currently?
Nothing is free. What is made to appear as free by politicians is paid for by the tax payers. Instead invest in creating opportunities for the youth both in terms of education and employment. The freebies are because they want to make parasites out of people!

How do you R & R?
Meaning what? Oh, rest and recreation! I read magazines, catch up with reading or watch interesting programs on television, the real facts about this country. Actually, I have read up Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography and his life and times and agree a lot of times with him and what he said about how political change must come from the bottoms up at village level.

If Congress comes back to power?
We will try to restore peace mind so that Goa and Goans are served and they feel safe. They will not to have worry about the security of their children. As you know Rajiv Gandhi dreamt of de-centralizing governance and therefore, he brought in the 73rd and 74th amendments towards this end. This was Gandhiji’s dream too which if we come to power we will fulfill in toto, in letter and spirit. I can say this will be done. We will restore value for life. Today there is so much fear, everybody is afraid. Everybody is engaged in actions which are at cross-purposes…there is nothing anti-national if ordinary people worry about something happening somewhere and ask questions to clear their anxieties.

And so we return to politics again…do you feel it is divisive, religious divisiveness?
Yes, today it is the arrogance of power we feel and how it is camouflaged into subversion. Every division points towards religious divisiveness and it is not helping anybody. Nation first is not religion first! We are a country of certain ideals and these have been deliberated in our Constitution, larger concerns made us a secular democratic republic in which all are equal before the law. But now there is a new twist to divide people, it is divisive politics. You see this in unprecedented levels in Goa on social media where it is elevated…Goa is a small state, everybody has a view. But I don’t think the divisive politics will succeed in Goa. We have to tackle politics of communalism, corruption and criminalization everywhere.

But don’t you see how once democratic institutions are falling apart? The executive, the media, the judiciary?
Our federal structure suffers because of top down politics which is not good, this is very divisive for the country. But we still have the judiciary, the Supreme Court is the lifeline of the nation, it is our last citadel, but I don’t think our judges will sign off the Constitution so easily. Take solace in that.

One thought on “ELVIS GOMES: FOR GOA NATURALLY!”

  1. MGP is the best friend of Congress & BJP. No doubt even 1%. These Trio has ruled Goa for almost 50 Years. They see AAP a threat for their Friendship. Congress & BJP cannot form alliance with AAP and hence they sent MGP to form alliance with AAP and finish AAP in Goa.

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