Photo Credits: Santosh Mirajkar
Amid a hoarding war at the northern entrance to the commercial capital, this odd hoarding erected by the Congress stands out with a striking message – food testing laboratory for formalin-free fish.
Unlike Mamata Didi’s promise of a “New Dawn for Goa” and Arvind Kejriwal’s second guarantee for the unemployed in mining and tourism, the Congress has guaranteed a food testing laboratory for formalin-free fish.
The message looks plain and simple, but against the backdrop of the fact that the hoarding has come up just meters away from Goa Forward Party chief’s residence at Danvodem, it is clear the Congress is out to bring the contentious formalin in fish row to the centerstage at least in Fatorda countryside in the coming polls.
Observers say that the Congress guarantee on a fish testing laboratory for formalin-free fish has come up when the election manifesto exercise has just got underway last week, sending indications the party is bracing up to engage with the Goa Forward chief in his fiefdom in the coming polls.
Take note, a couple of Congress hoardings promising formalin-free fish has come up in South Goa, including one on the national Highway at Sirlim. Many, however, say the hoarding erected just meters away from the Goa Forward chief’s residence only shows that relations between the Congress and the Goa Forward party may have hit a low in recent days.
Congress leaders have sought to defend its decision by saying similar hoardings on formalin-free fish have come up elsewhere in the state. Observers, however, said that the hoarding has come up meters away from the Goa Forward chief’s residence and right in Fatorda, which was the epicenter of the raging row that fish laced with formalin was being sold at the wholesale fish market, is a clear indication that the Congress is ready to take the Goa Forward chief head on in a worst case scenario.
That’s not all. The Congress leadership appears determined to ensure that the hoarding remains at the very spot where it is erected, close to the Fatorda-Nuvem border. Sources in the know informed that when the hoarding had made its presence felt last week, the matter had suddenly disappeared from the hoarding.
Even as mystery shrouds over the disappearance of the message from the hoarding, with the Congress and opponents, categorically rejecting their hand in the disappearance of the message, the Congress leadership was quick to get the message back on the hoarding, this time with a sticker type material, indicating the main opposition party too is in no mood for a retreat.
Since the controversy of the formalin in fish broke out at the wholesale fish market three years ago, Congress leaders did not stop to raise the issue again and again in the constituency.
That the Congress has kicked off its campaign for the ensuing polls with a guarantee to set up a fish testing laboratory to provide formalin-free fish for Goans is a clear signal that the party will not hesitate to strike at the opponents where it hurts them the most.
MARGAO: Days after he came out against any alliance to fight the 2022 election, senior Congress leader and South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha descended on the Fatorda turf during the weekend, to get the party workers battle ready ahead of the ensuing polls.
Several party workers from Fatorda, including some prominent people, reportedly came out strongly against any alliance, insisting that the Congress should not give up the seat to any other party.
One of the workers is believed to have raked up the formalin in fish row that had raised its ugly head in the wholesale fish market located in Fatorda, indicating that relations between the Congress and the Goa Forward has hit a low.
The MP is believed to have impressed upon the Congress workers to remain united, saying that the party would go as per their wishes and sentiments in the coming polls.
This is perhaps the first time that the South Goa MP has taken the lead to get the Congress workers under one banner. Though the Fatorda seat is represented by Goa Forward chief, Sardinha had taken a lead over the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “I have made my position clear on alliance, that I will go with the workers and supporters that the Congress should not go in for an alliance but instead fight the ensuing polls alone”, the MP stated.