15 Jan 2022  |   05:11am IST

Letters to the editor ( 15 January 2022)

Letters to the editor ( 15 January 2022)

An asset to Goa Assembly

I refer to the unwarranted remarks of Dr Jorson Fernandes, a gentleman I highly respect, on Capt Viriato Fernandes, regarding his past stand on various issues and his present candidature in Dabolim, on Congress ticket, thereby associating himself with elements he criticised in the past, but now in Congress or aligned with it. At the outset, I must say that the character and standing of a person cannot be judged or looked at, always, from the prism of the Party he/she belongs to. Hence, we often speak of right people in the wrong place or Party.

Viriato Fernandes is a decorated retired Indian Navy official, who sacrificed a lucrative job abroad to stay back in Goa to serve and be useful to this land he belongs to and he loves. I am also privy to the tempting offers he received and rejected, from some Parties, who are now out to defame him. I have known him quite closely, in the last few years, and found him an upright, honest, competent and knowledgeable gentleman, who would be an asset in our Legislative Assembly, which surely needs people of his mettle and capabilities.

Captain had started his campaign in Dabolim, several months back and during its course, there were many of his supporters and followers who felt that he should contest in Dabolim, on Congress ticket, in which case, he would stand a good chance of winning. Contrary to what many people think and write in social media, Viriato did not betray Goencho Awaaz, of which he was the Convenor, but did explain the circumstances which were compelling him to take the step he did and sought the blessings of his adepts. I had, in fact, expected that Viriato’s entry would be a turning point for the Party to improve its sagging image, but it has not happened. I have full faith that Viriato will stand his ground on issues that matter to Goa and Goans and will be able to counter Party’s decisions.

Jose Maria Miranda, Margao 

An ignominious record

In the past Goa has had to face the demon of defection. Several elected representatives switched party loyalty which led to change in government many a time as no party had an absolute majority. Instability was the bane of the government in the past years. Things have now changed, but not to a great extent. Now politicians have resorted to changing party loyalty before the elections. However, this will not stop them from changing the party again if they are victorious in the polls.

As Goa approaches the Assembly elections due on February 14, the State has a record which should make Goans hang their heads in shame. 67% of elected representatives in the 40 member house have switched party loyalty in the current term. This percentage could rise in the coming days.

It is understood that this “unique record” is unparalleled in India’s democratic set-up according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The worst part is that many of those who have changed their party loyalty have not consulted their supporters and have now resorted to damage control. This is a clear disrespect to the mandate of the voters. Probably the main reason for the switch-over is the fear of not getting the party ticket and the promise of the ticket in the new party. However the deciding factor will be whether the voters will remain loyal to their party or the candidate. This will also decide whether the politician has made a wise move or will meet his/her Waterloo at the polls. 

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Love to be tested on voting day

This has reference to the article ‘It’s raining elections’ by Gladstone D’Costa (Herald, January 14). It's raining elections, very rightly stated! And couple of important States are involved. However, one thing cannot be missed and that is the date of the Goa elections. Feb 14 - Valentine's Day to be precise! What better date than the 14th in a State which has seen love being betrayed by our beloved politicians on a large scale?

Mass scale dissension making a fool out of the voters at the time of the last elections and now more party hopping before the forthcoming elections. Truly, love will be put to the stringiest test in Goa in these elections. The article aptly ends with the words, Happy voting on Valentine's Day!

Melville X D'Souza, Mumbai

Avoid double standards

It is now very clear that the BJP which is out of control has miserably lost its way. Its weird diktat to Manohar Parrikar’s son that he should first work some years for the Party before seeking a nomination to contest the Assembly polls is clear double standards. If in 2019 late Francis D’Souza’s son could be selected, why not Utpal now? There can be no selective deviation in party policy. The BJP should realise that the young of today are better equipped to perform and deliver rather than the grey horns. On family raj it also cannot be pick and choose. The policy has to be uniform with no exceptions whatsoever. 

While in the Opposition the BJP had managed to get a minister to resign after he being charge-sheeted, but is now allowing tainted persons to contest despite them facing much more serious criminal charges. Is this not clear double standards?

Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

Will it be demolished at all?

Owing to public pressure our Hon'ble deputy CM had grandly declared that the illegal structure at Old Goa shall be demolished soon, but a month later things have not changed in the least on ground. In a statement, the Old Goa Panchayat said that it is 'looking' to issue a demolition order for the controversial bungalow within eight days. The authorities had earlier served a show cause notice but it was insolently responded to by the owners saying that the letter itself was malafide, not based on facts and patently illegal.

In fact the exterior painting work of the bungalow has been completed during the period of agitation. In the latest statement from the panchayat, it is mentioned that the legal process is being followed to demolish the building; towards this end an urgent meeting 'shall' be convened within the next 4 to 5 days and that the village body 'intends' to issue a demolition order within 6 days. Do note that all the words used in the statement are indicative of indefiniteness, 'shall', 'intend' etc. 

The government is tom tomming the fact that the construction licence and its subsequent renewal have been revoked, but of what use is a revocation after the building has been erected? 

Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim 

Freebies are only to fool voters

Short of promising the moon, parties are offering everything under the sun in Goa. As parties compete with each other, from the sublime to ridiculous, everything is on offer for people in lieu of their vote. BJP's free power, water promises, TMC's with Griha Laxmi scheme are all poll jumlas and election stunts. Political leaders false promises on full flow before the upcoming general elections.

Despite 60 years of Goa's liberation, Goans continue to demand good roads, uninterrupted power, proper water supply and employment. From 5 years the present BJP government was sleeping, when AAP and TMC started poll promises with schemes to the voters, the ruling party went one inch forward. They forget all about their promises.

Political parties have won elections by announcing welfare schemes. Their governments never serve the people. Such freebie promises are in contradiction in terms of governance because the state's treasury was depleted and the government is actually borrowing money to pay doles to people who have signed up for popular schemes.

KG Vilop, Chorao