Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Right Phrases

The Right Phrases

Mr Churchill Alemao’s all attempts to force the Congress leadership to succumb to his pressures have failed, and now seem to be backfiring. The leadership not only rejected his conditions for staying on in the party, but even conveyed to him that he was free to leave the party and could think of a separate future. This came as a jolt to Mr Alemao who made everybody believe that he was indispensable to the Congress and taller than other Congress leaders from South Goa in terms of popularity.

Mr Alemao has no doubt been always an irrepressible and outspoken politician. And like other smart politicos he can mouth the right phrases camouflaging his individual aspirations with public causes. He has been doing that for quite some time while being the Congress MP, but he has looked more like a fish out of water than a Turk who makes the politburo shudder. Choosing “right causes” at the right time is key to the success of a politician. From this angle too, Mr Alemao’s move to convene a meeting of like-minded persons on March 10 to raise the issues of Regional Plan, SEZ land allotment, Roman script and Mopa airport are not going to benefit him much. Even his allegation of misrule under Congress government will not cut much ice. Goa Bachao Abhiyan was formed to fight against the Regional Plan. With government agreeing to scrap the Plan, it would be a tough proposition for Mr Alemao to stretch this. Similar is the case with other issues.

He has not added to his popularity by harping on his demand: Allow me to contest from the Navelim assembly constituency. This has made it sound as though he had some personal scores to settle with Mr Faleiro. While doing so he forgot that it was not at all an issue which should have made the Congress leadership to sit up and think over the pros and cons. How could Mr Alemao forget that any political organisation, based on certain ideology, is above an individual? He should take lessons from political history.

In this background it is doubtful if his plan to lead an organisation that emerges as an alternative would take him very far. The space for alternative is already filled with the BJP and the NCP. It remains to be seen how many will be swayed by his rhetoric. Mr Alemao allowed his aides to float Save Goa Democratic Party in order to put more pressure on the Congress. Would people then have faith in his ideological outpourings? Whose identity the SGDP would try to protect: Goa’s or Mr Alemao’s? Goan identity could have worked for Mr Alemao earlier. In a scenario where all the political parties talk about day in and day out, it is not certain to what extent Mr Alemao will succeed in exploiting this issue.

Mr Alemao must know the success of any issue depends on the people’s acceptability. As it appears that the SGDP is only a forum to contest elections and nothing beyond that. Even the issue of fighting corruption sounds to be merely a boast, as Mr Alemao himself is involved in MPLAD fund scam. How could a leader whose credibility is suspect claim to be in the vanguard against corruption?

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