The Congress, down to two legislators from the original seventeen, has seen senior leaders waltzing away in search of greener pastures. Unfortunately, the party is now witnessing disintegration at the grassroots and block levels. Over the past few days, the Congress think-tank has been moving swiftly to onboard leaders from other parties showing complete disregard to their workers and blocks of the respective constituency.
On Wednesday, members of the Calangute Congress block resigned after protesting against the induction of Michael Lobo. In Navelim, Congress contender and a face of the Muslim community Rehan Mujawar resigned over the allocation of a ticket to Avertano Furtado. There is a huge wave of rebellion building up in constituencies of Nuvem and Curtorim. Similar resentment is seen in Velim where former MLA Benjamin D'Silva is being considered over loyal party soldiers like Sarpanch Savio D'Silva and South Goa District Congress President Joe Dias. In Curtorim, there are four probable candidates with the emphasis now on Shalom Sardinha, son of South Goa Francisco Sardinha, Moreno Rebello, who moved to BJP before rejoining Congress with the hope of a ticket, and his wife, Curtorim Zilla Panchayat Member Michele Rebello. The Siolim situation is no different with party workers aghast over the party projecting Delilah Lobo as a probable candidate overlooking Congress aspirants.
The Congress is trapped in a piquant situation where it could face extreme rebellion from the grassroots since furious party workers are beginning to take up cudgels against their own party nominee. While the Congress leadership is eyeing winnability, it is ignoring the fact that the base of the party is steadily getting eroded. There is a complete failure in ground management.
The party is once again taking the beaten road by depending excessively on big names, irrespective of all the baggage they bring in and not raising the second rung of leadership. Views and efforts of foot-soldiers who have been engaged in constant battles against opposition parties have been ignored. Let's not forget the times when some leaders who are welcomed with much fanfare were once slammed repeatedly for being corrupt and anti-people. Where does the sudden change of ends leave grass-root workers, and how do they reconcile with a new order? Or, is this the way of showing workers their place? It is a clear sign that party workers are not being rewarded.
It sounds absurd that the Congress, which had made a pitch of fielding 50-70 per cent new faces, is not considering second-rung leaders for tickets. There is a clear lack of confidence in new faces, especially against the backdrop of Trinamool Congress going on a signing spree, picking up a few every single day.
Politicians going party-hopping ahead of elections is a common phenomenon, but party bosses betraying the grass-root workers and karyakartas who have stood by the party through thick and thin without rewards, highlights the ugly side of electoral politics.