Elections have sandwiched 'Power' in Goa between two foes


For sure, the tariff hike which became effective from Monday and will be felt by Goa's power consumers when they get their bills in July, was the flavour of the media these last few days, and rightly so. What however skipped attention is the peculiar 'power' situation that the recent Lok Sabha elections and the subsequent government formation has thrown up for the power sector here in Goa.

Shripad Naik, who broke the record he himself jointly held with former union minister Eduardo Faleiro of winning five consecutive elections by winning his sixth, made it to the Central Council of Ministers again. But the power portfolio he got this time has thrown up a quaint situation for Goa where power is looked after by Ramkrishna (Sudin) Dhavalikar.

Now both Shripad and Sudin hail from the same region but the rapport between them cannot quite be described as cordial, although both of them have mostly been on the same side of Goa's political divide through the last 25 years. 

Shripad may have six innings under his belt in Parliament, but in the Goa legislative assembly he has had just one (1994-99) and owes the end of his State level political career to Sudin who defeated him in Marcaim in 1999. Shripad, never made a comeback to the Goa legislative assembly since that loss although he did try it one solitary time when he was fielded by the party in Ponda in 2002 after the current Agriculture Minister Ravi Naik had ditched the saffron party at the eleventh hour then. He did not succeed and took a flight back to his aviation ministry in Delhi after the results.

Nonetheless, despite so much water having flowed through all of Goa's political rivers all these years, the cold shoulders that both Shripad and Dhavalikar reserve for each other haven't wilted one bit and with the duo manning the power ministries in Delhi and Goa respectively, short-circuits and 'power' cuts are likely in ample measure. Let's wait and watch. 

Mapusa's political theatre: 

From sheds to shambles

In the whimsical world of Mapusa's politics, it seems our local leaders are auditioning for a reality show, but not quite for the reasons you would have hoped.

First on stage is a powerful local politician, who decided to moonlight as a construction magnate. His grand project? A workshop shed for a vehicle company where, surprise surprise, he happens to be a partner. The twist? He forgot to get those pesky permissions. Who has time for paperwork when there are sheds to build? Of course, once the spotlight hit, there was a mad scramble to find the elusive "legal papers."

The Mapusa civic body, not to be outdone in this circus, issued a show cause notice to the contractor building the shed. If anyone needed proof that something fishy was afoot, there it was, in bureaucratic black and white.

But wait, the show must go on! Two councillors from the ruling group of the Mapusa Municipal Council also showed that they were not far behind.

One of them, allegedly decided to sponsor some illegal shops and kiosks at Karaswada while the other played the role of the silent movie star during the sudden and illegal demolition of a public toilet right in her own backyard. Who needs Netflix when you have Mapusa politics?

Unfortunately, the real casualty in this comedy of errors is the credibility of the Mapusa Municipal Council and its current Chairperson. The civic body seems to have mastered the art of dragging its feet or simply looking the other way when things go awry.

And what about the opposition Congress? Despite boasting a legal luminary in their ranks, not a sound of dissent can be heard. Could it be that they've all got their hands in the cookie jar too? 

In the end, it’s the citizens who are left shaking their heads, wondering if the next episode will bring any semblance of accountability or if they’ll just have to settle for more of the same farcical drama.

Stay tuned, folks – Mapusa’s political theatre is showing no signs that the curtains are coming down on it, anytime soon.

A toast to defections 

and political drama

Calangute MLA Michael Lobo was all smiles, and why shouldn’t he have been? It was his birthday, and the who's who of the political world had lined up to wish him well. 

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, party president Sadanand Tanavade, former chief minister Digambar Kamat and a host of other political stalwarts made sure they paid respects to him on his special day.

But the real show began when Sawant raised the toast. With a wide grin, he cheekily reminded everyone how Michael Lobo had dramatically ditched the BJP to join Congress just before the last assembly elections. And then, in a twist in the plot worthy of a soap opera, Lobo returned to the BJP fold with seven more MLAs in tow.

The CM’s comment was met with knowing grins from the other politicians on stage, each one savouring the delicious irony.

The whole scene was a perfect display of how politicians not only tolerate but also celebrate defections. The anti-defection law? Just a minor inconvenience, it seems, in the grand theatre of politics.

In his speech, the CM also hinted at a bright future and good days ahead for Lobo, keeping the MLA and his supporters guessing. It was a bit like a fortune teller’s vague predictions—promising but ultimately unenlightening. After all, he said the same thing last year, and we all know how that turned out.

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