CANACONA: Canacona may be the last assembly constituency of Goa both geographically and numerically but the way things are shaping up, it looks like the constituency is the first one to start preparations for the elections even though the elections are eight months away.
There are no two sayings, election pundits in the taluka say that the cyclone Tauktae has given a perfect readymade platform for the prospective candidates to show their presence to the electorate of the constituency.
If we go by the normal electioneering procedures in all likelihood it is certain that the election commission would announce code of conduct by the month of September this year which is hardly three months from now and when it comes to any elections three months is a very short period of time many political experts here feel.
As the way things stand, atleast 8 leaders have already shown an inclination to fight the upcoming assembly elections from Canacona, in 2017 there were a total of five contestants.
That election, Isidore Fernandes eventually won on a Congress ticket as many felt that the BJP votes got divided between Vijay Pai Khot the official party candidate while Ramesh Tawadkar who was a minister and BJP MLA in the previous assembly split the votes by contesting as an independent candidate.
Now, after Isidore Fernandes joined the BJP government and the party with 9 of his colleagues, and rejoining of Tawadkar back into BJP, it’s a tricky position for the party leadership as all of them are eying the party ticket.
Isidore Fernandes have many times made it clear that while joining BJP it was made crystal clear by the state leadership of the BJP that all the 10 including himself will be given the party ticket in the upcoming elections.
“I have total trust in the promise made to us by the BJP state leadership, where is the doubt or worry about me not getting a BJP ticket? he asks.
Whenever a huge tree gets uprooted in a forest the smaller trees get a chance to grow quickly, the same has happened with the Congress party in Canacona.
After Isidore Fernandes left the party, local leaders Janardhan Bhandari (Congress state general secretary, NSUI and Youth Congress Goa incharge) and Mahadev Desai (State secretary) are sensing that their longtime ambition of getting a Congress ticket will ultimately come true.
It is still to be seen whether the party high command will fulfil their ambition, as rumours are afloat that an ex MLA if denied a ticket by his parent party, is going to use his and his families closeness to the leader of opposition Digambar Kamat to fetch him a Congress ticket.
Goa Forward’s senior leader and spokesperson Prashant Naik, a resident of Canacona but stays in Margao just like so many other Canaconkars.
Naik has made clear his intentions of throwing his hat in the ring this time.
Naik hopes that he can increase the tally of Goa forward party which is presently 3 in the Goa assembly.
Aam Admi had last time fielded Sandesh Teleikar who is the state spokesperson of the party, Remy Borges president of Toddy Tappers Association contested unsuccessfully in the last ZP election from Khola seat, it’s not clear who the party will nominate, but Sandesh Teleikar looks to be the natural choice.
Ramakant Naikgaonkar a former chairperson and present councillor of Canacona Municipal Council has in the past not kept his ambition to be a MLA from Canacona hidden.
He being a BJP member since long it’s not clear yet if he is contesting or will wait for the elections after this as age is on his side.
Simon Rebello who is enjoying his second term as the chairperson of CMC is also a name discussed by his well wishers, he was a Congress supporter till he joined BJP after the results of the municipal elections were declared.
There are a few more with ambition to sit in the Legislative Assembly of Goa in Porvorim but are playing a wait and watch game.
Meanwhile, the cyclone Tauktae has given an opportunity to many of these aspiring candidates to get close to the electorate.
These visits are seen as preparation of the ground for the battle royal which will happen in just over 8 months from now.
The sitting MLA Isidore Fernandes says that he is not a part time politician and his phones and doors are open for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and has done much development in Canacona.
“I have never discriminated any one, all Canaconkars are mine irrespective of party affiliation, the work undertaken in my tenure are hot mixing of various roads, water supply upgradation and many more, inspite of the state going through financial crisis I have used my good office and relations with the Chief Minister and other ministers to get lot of funds both when I was in opposition and after joining the government also in my constituency,” he informed.
“All of the six panchayats are ruled by my panel, most of the councillors in CMC are my close friends, through my hard and sincere work I have won more supporters in the constituency,” Fernandes expressed.
Ramesh Tawadkar current BJP vice president and three time MLA is confident of getting the BJP ticket for himself.
Tawadkar boasts of implementation of many schemes for the Scheduled Caste, sizeable voters from Khotigao and Gaondongrem belongs to ST.
However, Vijay Pai Khot, who contested the 2017 elections on a BJP ticket and Union Minister Satish Dhond privately said that a decision should be taken by holding a joint meeting of all the three leaders in Canacona.
Vijay Pai Khot has started meeting his activists. However, the party on which ticket he will be contesting if denied a BJP ticket is not any more a secret amongst his supporters.
It is said that the best laugh is the last laugh and the voters of Canacona constituency looks to be heading towards the last laugh, many in the tavernas, hair cutting salons and the balcauns in Canacona gossip.