Friday, 25 May 2007


Here's another plug which appeared in the Herald. And correct us if we are wrong, this thrash was published on the day of Churchill Alemao's birthday. Wonder how much money this piece has brought in for the newspaper?

Goa’s charismatic leader confident of making to the top
PANJIM, MAY 19 -- "I have already made it clear that I don’t have anything to do with BJP. We are contesting the election on seven point agenda, which also includes oppose to Mopa international airport and Roman script. When BJP is supporting the cause of airport and Marathi, how can I ally with them," Churchill questioned. "Everyone knows that congress always has an understanding with BJP on certain seats…. It’s a seat fixing. This time, their seat fixing has gone haywire as Save Goa Front has launched itself with the full vigour," he said. The Save Goa Front leaders, who are burning their mid night oil deciding election strategies, feel that their manifesto, which puts across their vision meticulously to the voters, is enough to give them edge in all the 17 constituencies they are contesting. "If I wanted I could have given tickets to any person with winnability. But for SGF, just winning is not a criteria. We don’t want to create political liabilities who are likely to shift sides and create political instability," Churchill said adding,`We have given tickets to only those candidates, who have their integrity intact and want to save Goa. The tickets have gone to youths and new faces whereas the party like congress has sidelined its own youth president.’ "There is no looking behind now. The fight is not just restricted only to this election itself, we are entering into a long inning. I know people are with me," Churchill said."All possible attempts are being made to malign my image but people know me. They have seen me closely. They know my style of functioning. Why do I become a criminal for the opposition only during elections? Why do these false cases crop up only during elections? Why they shut their mouth when I was member of parliament?" the former MP questioned. The Save Goa Front leaders, who accompany Churchill, vouch for the increasing acceptance to the new political outfit. "Incidently, we have got election symbol as an aeroplane….. We are opposing Mopa airport and supporting upgradation of Dabolim airport. The symbol of aeroplane is indicative of our victory in this election," stated Sidhanath Buyao. Buyao, founder president SGF, feels that people will relate themselves with the election symbol as Goans know that if aeroplane lands on Mopa airport, it will finish Goa and benefit maharashtra. In 1966 Goa was saved from merging into Maharashtra, now if Mopa becomes reality Dabolim will shut and entire Goa’s economy will be in shambles giving edge to Maharashtra. The SGF leader said that no party has come out with their manifesto in so much clarity, the way SGF has done. "We just don’t talk about problem. We have identified solutions for them too. We have given solutions through our manifesto. The SGF is not shooting in darkness but we know the target and are aiming at it," former revenue minister and General Secretary SGF, Dr Wilfred Mesquita said talking to this reporter on Navelim election trail. For Churchill Alemao, the focus is entire Goa though he himself is contesting against established politician like Faleiro. "As the days are passing, campaigning is becoming easy. People are identifying themselves with me which is indicated through recent panchayat elections. All this time, they had MLA who never listened to their problems and was busy making money for himself," Churchill said. Buyao recalls how Faleiro leaned infront of Manohar Parrikar to shield himself from EDC scam. "I was witness to the incident and let Faleiro or Parrikar deny it," he dared. People can recall how Faleiro post-EDC scam had shut his mouth and even abstained from legislative assembly sessions. He did not spoke a word against BJP, Buyao said.The SGF leaders recall how initially when the idea of forming the political party was floated, there were few people. But later, many more have joined hands converting the party into a full force. "Goans are fed up of national parties and their delhi centric politics. The time is ripe for regional parties. When UGDP has failed to meet people’s aspirations, SGF is undoubtedly people’s choice this time," confident looking Churchill says while shaking hand with an aged person during his campaign. The door to door campaign is focal point for Churchill, who needs no introduction whenever he reaches any household. Known for his straight forward speeches and bright smile, Churchill does not require much of talking during his campaigning. "We know everything. We have read in newspapers. Don’t worry, we are with you," a middle aged Navelim voter said greeting Churchill at his door step. Says SGF treasurer Ghanashyam Shirodkar,‘we are thankful to election commission of India for imposing restriction on banners, hoardings and posters and prohibiting sale of liquor after prescribed hours. The campaign has really turned into money free affair and we need not spend a single penny on such things.’ Scorching sun and unbearable heat does not restrain this leader from visiting most of the houses in his constituency. "I am a football player. I have worked hard throughout my life. I don’t get tired," Churchill says while moving ahead in the constituency while this reporter loses the strength to move forward in the noon. Sounding confident, Churchill moves further along with his supporters while I decided to retire for a day and move back to the office.
Churchill Alemao, who resigned from the Lok Sabha and the Congress, has formally joined the Save Goa Front and said the regional party will contest 35 of the 40 seats in the June 2 assembly elections. Alemao said he would go to any extent to defeat the Congress and BJP in Goa. "I am fielding a candidate against my own brother Joaquim, the Congress candidate in Cuncolim," he told reporters here this afternoon.
The leader, who represented South Goa constituency in Parliament, quit the seat on Tuesday. A few hours after joining the regional party on Wednesday night, Alemao was elected its president at a party meeting here.
"Regional parties have a better future in smaller states like Goa as leaders need not rush to Delhi to take the high command’s permission on the tiniest of issues," he said. The Save Goa Front will fight elections on issues which are dear to the common people or were affecting them, he said.
"The Congress and BJP, with their evil designs, are out to rob Goa of its beauty. We will not allow it. We work with a seven-point programme," Alemao said, listing issues including opposition to SEZs and the setting up of an international airport at Mopa.
Vowing to keep an equal distance from Congress and BJP, Alemao claimed both parties had failed to fulfil the aspirations of people, forcing the electorate to look for an alternative.


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