Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

Pallavi Dempo: Flavour of the week

Ashley do Rosario | MARCH 28, 2024, 11:55 PM IST

Undoubtedly, the flavour of the week in Goa was Pallavi Dempo, the surprise pick of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its candidate for South Goa, a seat where the saffron party is a natural underdog but determined to win it back through its dominance of the State's political landscape. 

Pallavi who hails from South Goa moved up North following her marriage to Shrinivas Dempo, the then scion and now chairman of the illustrious Dempo group. She is hands-on involved in day-to-day affairs of the group's many businesses and operations, especially in the media and education space. 

However, politics and as direct a role as Pallavi being the candidate in the Lok Sabha election was indeed a surprise, even if it isn't a first for the House of Dempo's -- her granduncle-in-law Vaikuntrao Dempo was the nominee, albeit an unsuccessful one, of the Nehru-led Congress in the first assembly election post Goa's Liberation.

Some pundits say, Dempo's goodwill especially in Salcete and elsewhere earned through its soccer legacy, could hold her in good stead on the electoral battleground, even if her third rival, the Revolutionary Goans Party's (RGP) Rupert Pereira will have the 'football' as his symbol.

Nonetheless, it is a tad too premature to speculate on her prospects and the likes for now, what with the Congress yet to finalise its candidate, who many if not all, expect to be her main rival.

When Tanavade lost his shirt
almost his RS membership


The run-up to the eventual declaration by the BJP that Pallavi Dempo it is who will fight on the 'Lotus' symbol in South Goa was an eventful one and not so much a happy run for some of the saffron party's stalwarts in Goa.

In fact, it left at least two top leaders bruised -- the BJP State president and Rajya Sabha MP, Sadanand Shet Tanavade and former South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar -- although the duo managed to keep composure and a straight, smiling face at the party headquarters through unveiling of Pallavi as their candidate.

It turns out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had Tanavade floored over the discussions in the Central Election Committee over picking the South Goa candidate. 

When the discussion for the South Goa constituency began, Modi who had previously asked the Goa leaders to scout for a good woman candidate, is said to have lost his cool when Tanavade disclosed that there were no women candidates strong enough to win back the seat. 

Pat came the PM's response to Tanavade to the effect that he quit his membership of Parliament's Upper House, and fight the election from South Goa himself.  Modi also told Tanavade in the same breath that such an eventuality would pave the way for him to elevate a woman from Goa as MP in the Rajya Sabha. Tanavade was left speechless.

Someone's cocking a 
snook at CS?

 There apparently seems to be a tech-savvy guy or gal, cocking a snook at the authority and power of Goa's topmost bureaucrat -- Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goel.

Shockingly, this guy or gal, has been using WhatsApp to impersonate Goel and fleece his friends and acquaintances.

The as yet unidentified WhatsApp user attempted to persuade Goel's friends to deposit money into a designated bank account, and while the police claim money hasn't been transacted yet we aren't sure it is the truth.

For now, the Cyber Crime Cell of the Police has registered a First Information Report under the provisions of the IT Act.

This is not the first time that Goel finds himself being targeted by cyber-fraudsters. Back in 2021 during the deadly second 'Delta' wave of Covid-19 the police had arrested Utpal Debarma and Parbir Jamatia from Bangalore for similar cyber fraud. 

The police had then reported that the fraudsters had managed to get one of Goel's acquaintances to transfer almost a lakh of rupees into their account. Nonetheless Goel's case raises many questions, although the skimming attempt targeted at him a second time round could also be just a coincidence rather than him being a 'soft target' in cyberspace. 

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