Two years after ripping apart Atanasio Monserrate's credentials, raking up his criminal antecedents, his alleged rape of a minor girl, even urging women of Panaji to steer clear from his path, for the BJP, Monserrate in 2022 is a man involved in social work and one who can best represent popular aspirations.
In a statutory public notice issued, the Bharatiya Janata Party has said that Monserrate had a good understanding of the ground situation in Panaji.
"He is a senior politician who has represented the constituency multiple times before. He has been actively engaged in social service for the people of the constituency for the past many years," the notice issued by BJP stated.
"He was found to have a good understanding of the ground situation and shared a good rapport with the voters here," he added.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party firmly believes in fielding candidates who can best represent the aspirations of the people of the constituency," the notice also said.
Even in face of political compulsions, the BJP's volte-face on Monserrate's candidature is a 180-degree flip-flop, to say the least.
Sawant ahead of the 2019 Panaji assembly bypoll had slammed Monserrate even saying that women would be unsafe in Panaji if Monserrate was elected as an MLA on a Congress ticket.
Monserrate is currently faced with multiple criminal cases booked under sections like 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. He is also booked under Section 4 (penetrative sexual assault of a minor) of the POCSO Act.
Monserrate has been booked for attacking the Panaji police station in 2008 under sections 143,147, 148, 149, 153, 323, 324, 325, 333, 427, 435, etc.