CONGRESS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO FINALIZE MANIFESTO: (L to R) Congressmen Ramakant Khalap, AICC incharge Dinesh Gundurao, Rohan Gupta, Hasiba Amin and Himanshu Tivrekar invite members of the public to contribute their ideas about what Goa needs for a better future for all. The manifesto is being finalized and will be released first week December.
By Pankajbala R Patel
BARELY 35 days left for the election code of conduct to come into place! Election fever is running high and wild to strike as many irons as possible while they’re hot…witness the merry-go-round of press conferences with wannabe and seasoned politicians switching from party to party (many making a beeline to the reportedly far more generous Goa Trinamool Congress with some changing their mind along the way and leaving even without informing the party).
The marginal differences between the breakaway Congress parties is becoming confusing with each claiming to be asli ghee Congress. Of course, none want to drop the Congress attachment though — you may think the word “Congress” alone wears a halo! The main and original Congress in Goa is engaged in daily meetings these days to come out with its final election manifesto.
The “Our Goa, Our Manifesto” campaign was launched at a media briefing at the Congress offices on December 1, 2021 with the promise that the draft version would soon be finalised after all consultations with the people of Goa were complete. It looks like the manifesto will be primarily a five-point manifesto of guarantees. The launch was announced by AICC SM Chairperson Rohan Gupta in the presence of AICC in-charge Dinesh Gundurao, also Ramakant Khalap (chairperson, manifesto committee), Elvis Gomes, Hasiba Amin and Himanshu Tivrekar who is State SM chairperson.
According to Rohan Gupta, also media-incharge, the Congress is doing in-depth consultation not only with local Goans but also the diaspora Goans so that eventually there is a comprehensive understanding of what the state of Goa needs for a better future. The draft of the manifesto is at draft stage currently but the nitty gritty consultancies will be over soon and the manifesto will go for printing and distribution. Mr Gupta added that the little delay is because “We want to give the people of Goa the best manifesto and we mean business. We won’t wait for five years! The day we come to power from day one itself we will start implementing our promises…our manifesto is our pledge.”
Some things remain secret for the time being and will be aired as the election nears. Mr Gupta added that the Congress has never functioned through remote control, “Please let us know whatever your expectations are and they will be considered.” Every section of society is being consulted to put together the final manifesto around mostly five points, it may be remembered that when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was in Goa recently he took pains to meet a wide cross-section of local people including the fisher folk.
Others at the AICC briefing who spoke included Hasiba Amin who said the Congress invites younger people especially along with everybody to help make Goa a beterplace, “Help us identify and find solutions. Goa is a statewith sharp minds, let’s fix our problems and we will fulfil all promises.”
The manifesto is in its final draft stage and in the meantime, if anyone would like to add something or say something they are welcome to e-mail at GoaCongress@inc.in or WhatsApp on 9607668897 or give a missed call on 1800 313 0000 33. The numbers have being distributed through all Congress workers so that everyone has them. From the sound of it the Congress is working on being an inclusive instead of an exclusive government, that is if the people of Goa give it another mandate to control the destiny of the small state to which every chota mota party is fighting for power to control, govern and reap the rewards at local and national level.
As far as the Congress is concerned remember that the people’s mandate was for the Congress in the 2017 elections. Except at the last moment there was this shocking takeover of Congress MLAs with a dazzling amount of money power and in which the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar played a key role. The betrayal of 10 Congress MLAs (the matter is still in court awaiting a verdict any day soon) ensured that the BJP is capable of grabbing power by hook or by crook!
One shudders to think of a similar situation develops in the forthcoming elections when Goa may well see a repeat of the most reprehensible kind betrayals and back-stabbing in the name of good governance and ache din which may never come for the people of Goa and India if the cesspool of politics is not cleansed.