Breaking the mould: the new faces shaking up things this election
GPANAJI floated by Sardesai, won elections to the 25-member Margao Municipal Council. “Goa will vote to drive the BJP out of the state,” he declares.
From a two-storey house in a lane close to Panaji’s Mahalaxmi temple, where every BJP chief minister seeks blessings after assuming office, another man is strategising to dethrone the party: Subhash Velingkar. The 67-year-old former chief of the RSS in Goa launched a political party to open a new front against the BJP for its flip-flops on grants to English-medium oa’s Congress veterans, Pratapsinh Rane and Digambar Kamat, had rushed to Delhi on January 5 to convince party chief Sonia Gandhi to enter into an alliance with the newly formed Goa Forward Party (GFP), saying it had to be done if the party wished to save face in the assembly elections on February 4. For in GFP leader Vijai Sardesai, Rane and Kamat saw someone who could play spoilsport for their party in at least four south Goa seats.
Sardesai isn’t the only one to watch out for this Goa election. Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) patriarch Subhash Velingkar, BJP MLA Michael Lobo and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes are the three other leaders that everyone’s keeping an eye on.
A first-time independent MLA from Fatorda in 2012, Sardesai, 46, has today grown into a force to be reckoned with. He snatched the initiative from the opposition Congress by teaming up with independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Saval and cornering the BJP government on issues such as law and order and mining. In October 2015, 11 of the 12 candidates of Fatorda Forward, a group
THE WAY FORWARD?
(Clockwise from left), Michael Lobo, Elvis Gomes, Vijai Sardesai and Subhash Velingkar