When people or political parties are packed off home and sent on an exile, they normally return chastised and with humility. The Congress has returned with the same greed, brashness, aptitude towards dirty unprincipled politics and the penchant for deal making. Is this for the love of Goa or for the love for loot? Is this for a Goa we want for our children or the Goa the same deal makers want, to rule for themselves.
The manner in which Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane, backed by AICC’s Digvijay Singh, did all they could to push Congress into negotiating with Goa Forward and the NCP, is a manifestation of deal making by a group of Congressmen, who instead of creating a second line of and help in building the party, are actually weakening it for their own self interest. They want to be prominent players in a struggling party with outside support from MLAs who will root for Chief Ministerial positions for themselves.
Let us ask ourselves. Do we deserve this? Do we have to swallow this deal making, this greed, this unadulterated game of making politics a business and most importantly, do we have to gulp the ignominy of being taken for ride with a hope, that perhaps the Congress has made amends, perhaps there is that glimmer of hope, perhaps they still deserve that one last chance, as a party which has received our affection and support in the past. Seeing the manner in which the Congress conducted itself in Delhi over ticket distribution in the last 48 hours, that hope is charred, charred so much that there is not even a glow in the embers of the ash of this self destruction.
Even before the BJP-MGP split, the ground was ripe for “change” as it was in 2012.
While there was scepticism over the Congress doing well, significant and serious ground reports have suggested that people were upset with Congress leaders, but not with the Congress. And if the party presented a fresh face in all aspects, the support could return.
But freshness is not determined by the fresh faces you field. The number of fresh faces fielded isn’t a reservation quota that Congress needs to fulfill. It is the freshness of approach, a clean idea, a sense of purpose to be different and above all the honesty of contesting elections to win them for Goa and her people, for the land they live in, and for the sake of all our children.
The attempted return of the same old faces, the behind the scene deals sought to be done, the shadow of mining lobby money being used to fund the elections only to prop up a particular man as Chief Minister, and the flowering of family raj, is tantamount to the absolute subversion of the idea of “freshness” and the hoisting of the flag of sameness, the flag Goans had pulled down and thrown into the waste bin in 2012.
If 2012 was about family Raj, 2017 will be the celebration of this family raj of the Congress and its unholy alliance if and when it takes shape. Check this. Two Monserrates, in two parties in “alliance” in Taleigao and Panjim; the two Ranes in Valpoi and Poriem, two Khauntes, if Rohan and his brother Rajesh Khaunte contest on the ‘alliance’ platform in Porvorim and Aldona, and two Kavlekars with Babu and his wife Savitri likely to be finalised from Quepem and Sanguem.
But the Congress will have to pay. Goa is on the cusp of a huge change and we are not talking parties or elections here. The change is the birth of a new idea, of a people’s governance, when the norm has been of a party ruling and the voters living like subjects. And the success of this change will not be measured by the number of seats the change agents get or whether we have a real people’s government in March or not.
The success will happen when thousands and thousands of Goans vote for a different Goa with a totally different mindset, Goans who want to change the relationship between the ruling class and the governed.
This change will vote for a system where the people who are governed are the ruling class and the people who are elected, “serve” and not do deals. After their recent display of greed in Delhi, will the Congress be even capable of being the harbinger of this change?
It is high time, political pundits and poll watchers and those who swoop down on surveys and treat them as gospel truth realise this. There is a very strong silent voter, the young voter, the voiceless voter, the voter who has made a quiet decision but will not tom-tom it. This silent, and the disgusted voter, disgusted at what his Goa has become, will vote with his conscience since his future and his existence depends on that one vital decision. It is this voter who will stand before a rampaging greedy party out to hunt Goan interests like a pack of wolves, and quietly but firmly vote them away. And mind you, this is no longer about whether Goan parties should be voted in and Delhi parties kept away. It’s about who understands Goa and the needs of Goans the most and establishes trust and faith among Goan voters.
A grand old Congress party whose state president’s view on building the party by contesting a solo election with good candidates, is shamelessly rejected by genuflecting leaders before the High Command, cannot even pretend to claim that it is a party for Goans.
One of its former MLAs today announced that he was taking “retirement” from politics. The announcement is irrelevant. Ultimately, it is the people who will decide who will govern and who should be “retired”. This is heading to be a true people’s election. Let’s join the celebration.