16 Mar 2017 07:28pm IST
Neshwin Almeida Margao
Alex Mama Cardozo was the last minister the constituency saw in 1994 when Congress was in power. After a gap of almost two decades Vijai Sardesai has got a ministerial berth after he joined BJP to form a government
Way back in 1994, Mama Alex Cardozo, in his second term as Fatorda MLA was sworn in as Panchayat and Forest Minister in the Pratapsingh Rane government besides being made the chairperson of the ST Economic Development Corporation and Forest Development Corporation. But way back then, the dynamics of Fatorda constituency was different. The focus was on the large ST, OBC population in the constituency that was considered as the outskirts of Margao town.
But post that Mama Cardozo was denied any ministry in the Wilfred D’Souza, Luizinho Faleiro, Francisco Sardinha breakaway governments and finally saw his defeat in 2002. Damu Naik was voted into the BJP and was part of the ruling government until 2005 but he was given a meagre chairmanship of the Goa Handicrafts Rural & Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Ltd for a short while. Later from 2005 until 2012, Damu himself sat in the Opposition before tasting defeat to Vijai Sardesai who also sat in the Opposition until 2017.
“As a minister then I could do a lot for the people of Fatorda. I took their demands to the Chief Minister and the cabinet and met my cabinet colleagues and followed up on projects in Fatorda across departments and that doesn’t happen as a simple MLA,” explains Mama Cardozo recalling his time as a minister while he remembers the politics and infighting of the Congress that prevented him to be minister for a longer duration in time as three-time Fatorda MLA.
Ankit Bhangui, a Fatorda resident says that he’s so glad that almost 18 years later Fatorda will be represented by a Minister which is crucial for the long pending developments.
“There is discontent amongst people as to why I joined hands with the BJP but they will see the difference when I function as a minister and take up pending works as minister and hence I took this step of an alliance with the BJP,” explains Vijai Sardesai.
While most Fatordekars are cautious and upset with Vijai’s move at the time many are excited that Borda-Fatorda has a minister after a gap of 18 years and are hopeful of some big announcements.