04 Jan 2017 12:26am IST
Many former sarpanchas and councillors have contested for Assembly elections;
few, like Digambar Kamat, have climbed these ranks and succeeded
With the Assembly Election for 2017 on the horizon several Councillors of Margao Municipal Council are preparing to contest the polls. Former chairperson of MMC and sitting Councillor Arthur D'silva is likely to contest in Curtorim, while Councillor Jaffar Budhani, who has candidly revealed contesting from Margao and some others are an example of political aspirations which have surfaced.
The trend of councillor to MLA or sarpanch to MLA is very common in Goa. A state, which votes mostly on the charisma of the contestant and not the party, has seen several who have started off as small time leaders and have become representatives of the state. Margao is an example. Digambar Kamat was a councillor in the yester years of his political career. He later fought Margao elections as BJP candidate defeating his Congress opponent. Digambar is a success story when it comes to progress from Municipal politics.
Adv. Cleofato Almeida Coutinho, speaking to Herald on this upward mobility dreams in politics, said "Having a dream to go upward in politics is not wrong. It is a natural progression for people who have political aspirations." Working at grassroots as a public representative and working as party worker is equally effective. However, working at party level and later being announced as candidate is at the grace of the party. But if a leader or worker has genuine work then the party can’t ignore them," added Cleofato.
Arthur D'silva, who is the Curtorim BJP ticket aspirant, said "My work as chairperson was of great help for me to get to the level of a national party which wished to take me under their umbrella of politics. Definitely they have liked my work and that has been the important criteria for me being selected.".
Meanwhile Jafar Budhani the Councillor of Ward 20 has informed that he too will contest in Margao for the assembly polls. Jaffar said, "The MLA of Margao has been given 25 years and he has not done anything for Margao. I understand that he will not do anything for next 20 years too and hence in consultation of all my supporters and people I have decided to contest.”
In the past Rupesh Mahatme, Savio Coutinho, veteran Chairperson Gopal Vaidya and several others, who have been in Municipal politics have tried their luck in the Assembly politics of Margao. Digambar Kamat and Vijai Sardesai, who were co-opted councillors are, however, the success stories of this phenomena in politics.