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Floriano's 'Post GLA-Elections- RAMBLINGS

Floriano’s ‘Post GLA-Elections-2007’ Ramblings

Much as we would like to agree to the general assumption that the ECI, read Election Commission of India, and more particularly Goa’s CEO Mr. Ramesh Negi have performed exceedingly well in curbing the defacement of public property and the use of muscle power during elections 2007, the fact remains that the elections were flawed to the most extent with rampant unabated distribution of money bags and others electioneering details.

For one, voters listed on the rolls could not vote because they didn’t carry their EPICs, read Electors Photo ID Cards. There were genuine cases where EPICs were never issued but got listed against the names on the rolls. What master brains to disenfranchise string of voters. This could have been easily corrected by allowing voters to prove their identity otherwise. But the bull headed ECI commanded you to carry your EPIC if you desired to vote. Couldn’t I have misplaced it? Couldn’t I have lost it?, Couldn’t it have been burnt during the Savordem-Curchorem riots? And if I was the guy with a bent mind or paid by vested interests like the BJP and who was sitting at the computers at the EC office at Altinho, I could make a lot of money by inserting EPIC numbers against the names not holding EPICs and which were mostly Christian names. There was this gentleman in Salvador do Mundo who had come from the Gulf, especially to vote but was refused his voting right because EPIC was shown against his name. His statement was that he never even bothered to get his EPIC and was never photographed. Poor guy was brandishing his passport to no effect.

For another, somehow CEO-Goa felt it fit to use one voting machine where two were normally used. When I voted at my booth at St. Xavier’s High School, Moira, it was past 8:30 PM and I was the last one to cast my vote. Why? Because I made a great deal of noise because I found out that at 4:30 p.m. only some 500 voters had voted and there were serpentine lines with voter returning home without voting because the presiding officer was taking over 1.5 minute per voter and was sleeping on his job. I even called the Collector threatening law and order situation which prompted him to dispatch a police contingent from faraway Dhargal. But at 5.00 p.m. when the presiding officer started issuing slips to voters in line, he refused to give mine stating that I was not in line. He even challenged me that he will see to it that I didn’t vote. To that I told him that I will vote over his dead body. And I voted, even if I had to be the last person to do so. I was ready to blow-up the booth if I was stopped from voting, and Tony Fernandes, DYSP Mapusa was well nigh ready to face the brunt. But then better sense prevailed and I was allowed to vote. Earlier, I had even kept the Collector Shri. Nikhil Kumar well informed about the designs of the presiding officer and to expect a lot of trouble if I was not allowed to vote. What I am saying here is that if the bull-headed CEO felt that one machine would suffice where two are required, then the least he could do was to double up staff members to clear the voters. If the clearing of voters is organized well, it does not take more than 10 seconds to register a vote on the machine.

And I hope to God that the bull-headed, tyrannical, despotic, dictator heading the ECI comes around to reading the letter to the editor of the Navhind Times [ 8-June, 2007] by Shri. Girish Kakodkar of Ponda captioned “ON ELECTION RESULTS – 1”. If he does that and tries to implement at least one of those good suggestions offered, I shall think nothing of his not giving my party the opportunity to grill him when he reveled in the luxury of the 5 Star Marriott Resort at Panjim, preparing for Goa’s Elections.

And the post poll counting day [June 5, 2007] saw me forgetting that it was not the New Year’s eve to be passing resolutions. But I was forced t o do it. Why? Because in all fairness, and according to the pre-poll campaign that the people of Goa [shall I say friends of Goa?] had unleashed against the communal and the corrupt forces in Goa and in favour of my candidature for the Aldona Constituency, may it be the multitude of good guys at “Jagrut Goem”, may it be the good Citizen’s Committee of the Aldona Constituency, may it even be a far away newly formed national party of IIT’ans called the ‘Lok Paritran’, all endorsing me as the preferred candidate, I didn’t expect to lose my Rs. 5000.00 deposit. But I did.

And coming to the resolution that I have passed, signed, sealed and delivered, it has all of three points and they are:-

(1) Goa Su-Raj Party’s tickets in the future will go to anyone who has upwards of Rs. 5 Crores to spend on an election, or, has access to this amount on rob, beg, borrow at 4 to 5 per cent a month basis from such money lenders like Babush Monserrate.

(2) The aspirant candidate should be in good books with, and know how to bribe any and all religious leaders i.e. monks, bhats, gurujis, vicars of churches, chaplains and even higher ups in that order, through hefty donations for computer systems, musical instruments, repairs of falling down roofs of religious edifices which have been long neglected and nobody wants, engage them on regular basis to canvass for them and extol their virtues publicly or even from their pulpits, even if they did not possess them, just like Fr. Conceicao of Mandur has done for Mauvin Godinho and Fr. Braz Faleiro for Trajano D’Mello and against Dr. Willy D’Souza. Also, the aspirant candidate should be able to organize all paid trips abroad, to Rome/Vatican, France/Cannes, for World Cups etc to these influential priest and others for jobs well done at election times.

(3) The aspirant candidate should be able to float a network of paid goons, even imported from other neighbouring states for the purpose of intimidating voters to part with their EPIC cards on payment of hefty sums of money.

Now, the question that will be asked by a lot of people around Goa which is all of 1772 Goan heads, considering 1500 persons voted for the party in the 2002 elections over 8 constituencies, 207 voted in Taleigao’s by-election of 2005 and 433 in the recent Aldona’s poll count less 368 who are probably the same voters in 2002 elections, will be: “How come this guys who sold us on moral ethics and all that jazz now opting to join the rank and file of the corrupt goons? Well, I shall want to answer this question with another question. Does 433 Aldonkars or for that matter 1772 honest and concerned Goans make a viable change? Is the old adage not true in this case where it is said that “IF YOU CANNOT FIGHT THEM, JOIN THEM?

But all said and done, I have a problem. Where to get the 5 + crores from? Surely I would like to be the MLA, just like Anil Salgaonkar or for that matter Vishwajeet Rane, who can dictate terms to the government. Therefore I must manufacture the crores. To start with, I have telephoned my cement supplier to supply me only half the load every time the request comes from my manager of the requirements for my ongoing construction project in Moira. I have phoned instructions to my sand supplier to henceforth supply the sand at half the existing rate which is Rs. 500 per cubic meter. He protested citing my being a stickler for quality. I had to tell him that I would look the other way henceforth. I telephoned the General Manager of Messrs. Kundil Steel at Kundaim and asked him to cancel the steel load order. Surprised, he asked me if I was shifting t he order to someone else. ‘Nope’ I said. ‘I am getting a good offer for the rejects from other plants’. ‘If you can match these offers, you are in business’. “Why the sudden change from quality steel to rejects?’ he asked. “I need to contest against Narvekar and win in 2012’ I said. “Fine boss” he said “I will more than match the price for you and I am sure you will get what you want”.

So what if my buildings start leaking like a weak bladder? So what if there are cracks in the beams and columns and the slabs? So what if the floors collapse and people die? All I have to do is shift the blame on the quality of stuff that we get nowadays. And people are going to believe me because I have always stood for excellence in quality.

Then there is the belt tightening exercise at home. No more evenings drink for me. Five days out of 7 the menu is set for just dal and chapattis. No luxury of car rides. Taking the bus or hiking for rides would be the order of the day. One has to be shameless if one wants to succeed in life. Moreover, there has not been a word of protest from the home manager. She certainly is roped-in into the game of being the MLA’s wife who is going to go places like Cannes, Australia, Germany et al. And lastly, what about my advance age at 2012? No sweat there too. If Dr. Wilfred was in at almost 85, I can do it three times over at 64 and still be fit as a fiddle.

And that would mean that I would certainly have to change my style of campaigning which I followed this time around. I cannot afford to be seen moving alone, house to house, meriting raised eye-brows and they having pity on me. I shall have to have platoons of sexy looking young girls and not so sexy looking young lads with a sprinkling of older ladies and gentlemen to put things in perspective. After all every one has to make a killing during election time at Rs. 300 to 500 a day. And I would also have to change my attitude towards organized election time self-help groups who hock chunks of votes to every candidate for a killing. The count of 433 votes out of 21590 votes polled in the Aldona Constituency tells the sad story of my attitude. When such a self-help group approached me to tell me that after a lot of deliberations, the participants in their group were of the opinion that they should vote for a clean guy like me this time. Would I pay X amount? ‘Fermina’s camp is pestering us’ on daily basis’ they said. ‘Also Narvekar’s camp has hiked the ante. But we don’t want to go with him. If you say no, we will be forced to be with Fermina’ they said. To that, my attitude response was “ I don’t buy votes”. “You are better off with Fermina or even Narvekar, if you please” Now that my resolution has come to my rescue, I am going to hike every ante of every self-help group and romp home victorious with a commanding lead that will be the envy of generations of contesting aspirants to come. And as an MLA, I shall demand the best paying portfolio, probably the PWD. Who will say that I am a novice who does not know head or tail of my portfolio? After all, am I not a builder? Within no time I shall be able to recover the lost ground a hundred times over. Then, as a builder, I shall create my own vote bank of migrant labour force, just like our new Chief Minister has done which will be my insurance to occupy the kodel of power ad infinitum. And I shall surely not allow some such persons like Fr. Braz Faleiro to undo me just like he has undone our good old doctor Wilfred D’Souza. After all, my love for Goa will keep me in good stead and even guys like Dr. Oscar Rebello and Patricia Pinto will have no cause to pick bones with me. On the contrary they will be supporting my cause or multiple causes all the more ferociously just like Fr. Conceicao of Mandur for the to be Minister again shri. Mauvin Godinho.
Goa Su-Raj Party has been in existence since 31/08/2000.

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