CALANGUTE: After kicking up a storm by announcing the sale of iconic club Tito’s owing to corruption, the co-owner of Goa’s oldest nightclub – Ricardo Joseph D’Souza is in the news again as he announces his plunge into Goan politics.
While some have free electricity, free water and some wooing migrants with those of regularisation of their illegal dwellings, here D’Souza makes a unique promise of giving one apartment to each family if elected to power.
Shocking, isn’t it? Is it really possible or just an election gimmick?
But Ricardo says it is very much doable, and he won’t pay from his pocket either.
“For those who are asking…Not really in this Political drama for myself. I Will offer to serve the people for 5 years as a token of gratitude for what this country gave me. Then I will leave. It’s up to the people to decide if they want me to do it or not,” he says, speaking to Goemakrponn.
He said the promises he makes would be possible as he would not indulge in corruption.
So how can he fulfil the one apartment per family assurance?
“One free apartment per family is really payback from businesses to the extra stress laid on utilities and facilities. It’s rightfully theirs. Money for this will come from builders and businessmen who will give voluntarily as long as they find the ease of business and no corruption,” he says.
He says people should be compensated for more pollution, traffic, shortage of water and electricity, more disease, less school places in their village .
He added, “It’s only fair. Our system right now is a failure. All I am doing is passing on the ill-gotten wealth of the rulers to the people who genuinely deserve it more.”
Ricardo states that if a city like Tokyo with 35 million people can be one of the cleanest with low air pollution, modern amenities, etc., why cannot a tiny state like us manage this?
“Our leadership was mentally deficient compared to the modern thought process. Instead of reinventing the wheel, which has evolved over centuries, it makes more sense to follow modern city-states worldwide and copy their rules and then tweak as we wish…but the more time we waste, the more the damage will be,” he adds.
On increasing migrant population, he says, we can complain all we want, but practically, the migrant population will grow.
“It is due to us inviting more people as tourists, which attracts more service providers who then also have a sub ecosystem which brings gaddas and roadside stalls. The Panchayat is forced to give them licences because of local pressure from landlords who own the premises. Same with migrants being given homes without toilets,” he said.
“My view is our next-gen is already dying for to low birth rates, less housing and migration. My solution of a free apartment will provide for their future in a Goa that will be unaffordable to them. Without this, they will be left with nothing. Lastly, this is only my view, and there should be a People’s referendum in which the majority decides. Here too, we cannot be fascist and not give everyone a fair chance as no one will win the election to implement this and then it’s wasted,” he says.
He continues, “If I lose, I will be even happier to be relieved of this huge burden and free to carry on my existence in peace elsewhere. If I am chosen, then much change needs to happen in Goa. Goans should be allowed and encouraged to be given equal preference to run all businesses. No discrimination against big business but certainly no monopolies as well.”
He also justified the local taxi drivers, who he says are doing legitimate business.
“Some people show that they don’t want free apartments, but they all want to suck the blood of taxi drivers by asking for cheap rates and also screw the farmers by asking for cheap vegetables. They don’t care that farmers and taxi drivers will soon have to commit suicide,” he stated.