Herald: Wives on campaign trail

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Wives on campaign trail

18 Jan 2012 12:00am IST
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18 Jan 2012 12:00am IST
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When it's poll time, it's time to ride your lady luck Wives of senior leaders hit the campaign road in Salcete

Digambar has Asha for ‘hope’  

Mickky has ‘Viola’ for some magic

Vijai has Usha for ‘sewing up’ votes

Filipe Neri has Maira as ‘pillar of strength’



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MARGAO: When Diggubab has “Asha” by his side, there is hope. Mickky Pacheco needs to say “Viola” to get some magic into his campaign while Usha Sardesai is busy sewing up votes among the mahila mandals in Fatorda for her hubby, ‘Vijai’. And of course there is Rachel Faleiro and Maira Rodrigues, pillars of strength for Luizinho and Filipe Neri Rodrigues.

All of them need their lady luck and each woman has decided to put her best foot forward. Meanwhile, the Alemaos, as always are pitching into to get the Genx kids Yuri and Valanka to get elected.

Leading the pack down south is Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s wife Asha. She had lent her helping hand to husband Digambar – be it the Assembly or Civic polls – and Asha has made her presence felt in the constituency drumming up support for the Chief Minister. She is accompanying Digambar at corner meetings and is bracing up to play a key role once the Chief Minister moves out of Margao to canvass for party candidates across the State.

In neighbouring Betalbatim (a part of Nuvem constituency), the normally reticent Viola Pacheco is taking her first baby steps in politics. Given her status as Goa Vikas Party president, Viola is making time not just for Mickky in Nuvem but has started canvassing for Nelly Rodrigues in Cortalim. She was seen in Cansaulim, her home village, drumming up support for Nelly.

In Fatorda, which is witnessing a steamy reality of betrayal and backstabbing, with Pratima Coutinho, Vijai’s closest buddy becoming his challenger, wife Usha is going all out to avenge this betrayal. She has hit the campaign to drum up support for her husband. Like Asha Kamat in neighbouring Margao, Usha’s close association with the chain of mahila mandals has helped to keep her in good stead.  Usha is not new in the turbulent electoral politics dogging Fatorda as she had played a key role in the Municipal polls for candidates fielded by her husband.

The Alemao clan is actively campaigning for its siblings – Valanka and Yuri – in Benaulim and Sanguem respectively. While Churchill does not miss any corner meetings in support of Valanka in Benaulim, Joaquim takes pain to travel to Sanguem countryside to seek support for son Yuri. It may be recalled that in the 2007 Assembly polls, the entire Alemao clan, including Valanka had hit the campaign trail in support of Churchill against seasoned campaigner Luizinho Faleiro. So it’s payback time for daddy dearest.

Incidentally, it’s not uncommon to find the spouses of politicians or their kith and kin actively involved in the election campaign. Instances are galore when spouses supplemented the work of husbands during poll time. In Velim, Water Resources Minister, Filipe Neri’s wife Maira has been lending a helping hand to her husband, while Luzinho’s better half Rachel Faleiro had been managing her husband’s campaign without much difficulty over the years.

The march of the ladies brigade will undoubtedly add more colour, excitement – and shall we dare say – more fierceness in the poll battlefield.

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