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Why political state of affairs in Goa resembles a fish thali forward of Assembly election subsequent yr

The best-case state of affairs, which the BJP can be hoping for, is that not one of the Opposition events, particularly the Congress, TMC, AAP and Goa Forward sew collectively an alliance

By the time Goa goes to polls in 2022, the digital voting machine may properly resemble the unfold in typical fish thali served in seafood eating places within the seashore state; a plate with diversified compartments full of rice, types of curries and savoury fish bites.

However, the addition of two resurgent political events, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), to Goa’s vibrant electoral ensemble could find yourself queering the pitch and the political palate of the common Goan.

Neither AAP nor the TMC are new fish in Goa’s murky political pond. AAP had flattered to deceive within the 2017 Assembly polls, with the social gathering dropping all seats it contested in—Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had predicted a victory in 35 out of the 40 Assembly seats—whereas the TMC carried out miserably in each its earlier outings, the Assembly polls in 2012 and the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

This time spherical, nonetheless, each the political outfits, boosted by their convincing electoral successes elsewhere, seem to have gained some swagger. From shrimps of yesteryear, each the AAP and the TMC have donned the stripes of wrist-thick tiger prawns.

While AAP has the benefit of great headway by way of media administration, well-liked outreach and aggressive cornering of political opposition house during the last yr, the TMC which made its splash final week has in its combine important and secret condiments dropped at the desk by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s key political strategist Prashant Kishor.

A fish thali and its political composition

Just like boiled rice, fish curry, a fried fillet are irreplaceable in a normal fish thali, the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have been the mainstream political flavours commanding the eye of the Goan voters for many years.

There have additionally been the Nationalist Congress Party, Goa Forward and the United Goans Democratic Party which have performed bits and items roles in Goa’s political drama. Much just like the pickles, kokum kadhi, and salad in a fish thali. They add flavour sure, however you actually might do with out them too.

The actual context of the fish thali metaphor to the emergence of the AAP and the TMC is whether or not the 2 events would have the ability to emerge because the signature irreplaceable components in a thali or find yourself as expendables just like the pickle.

Splash and nothing

The TMC dialog started amid hypothesis final month, with Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) members scouring the countryside conducting surveys and sussing out political expertise. They discovered one within the type of former chief minister and ex-Congress Working Committee member Luizinho Faleiro. At 70, Faleiro continues to be thought to be a pointy politician and is a prize catch by way of the sheer consideration his swap has cornered. But his probabilities at profitable an Assembly ballot, even in his personal constituency, are considerably questionable, contemplating his close to absence as a legislator for the reason that 2017 polls.

Faleiro’s “coming out” in a TMC jersey itself was additionally a lackluster affair. The reputation of the politicians who joined him into the social gathering and their collective footprint in politics maybe matches measurement three to 4 within the Indian shoe measurement charts.

Faleiro’s key bulletins made throughout his first few media briefings, particularly retaining Goan identification, bringing breakaway Congress factions collectively, taking up the BJP and naturally the oft-quoted underscoring of the love Bengalis and Goans share for fish and soccer wasn’t one thing that set Twitter on hearth, not even with the I-PAC’s aggressive social media administration abilities.

But chances are high that Faleiro should have a trick or two up his sleeve. If not, there may be all the time the potential of a TMC-sponsored Rajya Sabha ticket, although Faleiro has formally claimed that he has not been made such a suggestion.

AAP: Loss and hope

The TMC’s sudden emergence, nonetheless, seems to have surprised the AAP for now. The social gathering, which has to this point overwhelmed the BJP on the social media recreation with ease in Goa, seems to have taken a pause to digest the brand new political entry.

The AAP had led a disastrous election marketing campaign in 2017. It misplaced 38 out of the 39 seats it contested, its candidates dropping their deposit in 37 seats. Its solely candidate, who managed to save lots of her election deposit, Royla Fernandes from the Benaulim Assembly constituency, had later joined the Congress.

But there was one studying from the voting sample in 2017 that the social gathering took house. In some seats—particularly the place Catholic votes might make a distinction—the dropping AAP candidates had taken sufficient votes to mar the possibilities of a Congress victory.

After the ballot autopsy, the social gathering shed its high state management. It additionally shed its qualms about roping in politicians with doubtful observe information, becoming a member of the mainstream political tough and tumble full throttle.

In the latest Zilla Panchayat elections, the AAP lastly managed to safe its first electoral victory in Benaulim. Benaulim can be the constituency the place the AAP hopes to earn its first Assembly seat in 2022.

Congress and its pickpockets

While neither the TMC nor the AAP proper now seems to be in a spot the place they may tip the scales and win the 2022 polls, they may do properly to emerge as potential complications for Congress. In the best way issues stand proper now, each events may very well be the traditional potential pickpockets so far as the Congress’ minority vote-bank is worried. And the Congress seems nonetheless riddled by its commonplace affliction of factionalism and has but to place its recreation collectively for the 2022 elections. The appointment of former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in August this yr because the social gathering’s senior election observer gives a ray of hope for the Congress, however Faleiro’s dramatic exit would definitely depend as a failure in Chidambaram’s early-term report card.

BJP isn’t sitting fairly

Interestingly, the ruling BJP itself isn’t within the scorching seat both. In 2017, the social gathering rode the charisma of late Manohar Parrikar (then a Union defence minister) however nonetheless ended up a poor second after the outcomes with 13 seats.

In 2022, there’s no Manohar Parrikar. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s truncated tenure in energy has been lackluster (and insufficient through the Covid disaster). The induction of 15 MLAs from Congress and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party since 2017 has triggered dissent inside the social gathering, which is spilling out forward of election ticket distribution.

The best-case state of affairs, which the BJP can be hoping for, is that not one of the Opposition events, particularly the Congress, TMC, AAP and Goa Forward sew collectively an alliance.

In abstract, months forward of the Goa Assembly polls, that are scheduled for early 2022, no political social gathering is actually ready to say that they’re sitting fairly. But the number of political choices on show on the EVM could properly match the variety of the Goan fish thali.

And that will properly make a reasonably image!

The author is a journalist and co-author of ‘An Extraordinary Life: A Biography of Manohar Parrikar’.​

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