Jaipur declaration on political nepotism reopens family raj wounds

GPCC will take action against leaders who demanded tickets and lost - Shirodkar

Sujay Gupta / The Goan | JANUARY 20, 2013, 01:02 PM IST

While Goa's presence in the AICC session is merelydecorative, the penultimate paragraph in the 56 paragraph  Jaipur declaration, issued by the AICC onSunday morning, will come to haunt the architects of "ticket raj",which was responsible for the Congress' debacle.

The Jaipur declaration stated that leaders who recommendtheir own candidates for assembly tickets must take responsibility for theirdefeats. The declaration also used the word 'nepotism" and said that itwas a cause of concern.

Close on the heels of Rahul Gandhi's visit to Goa, where heechoed the same sentiment with reference to the Goa in the presence of theformer Rajas of the family raj - the Alemaos and the Ranes - theGPCC workingpresident sitting on the second row of the all powerful dais of elders heardwith attention when this paragraph was mentioned. It read "It is of utmostimportance that when senior party leaders recommend particular candidates, theymust own responsibility in case of failure. Nepotism in the organisations structureis a cause of great concern and there is a need to arrest this tendencyfirmly."

Knowing the way the Congress works, especially in Goa, thismay not lead to the party getting into a huddle and paving the way for actionagainst the Alemaos and Vishwajeet Rane, but it's clear that they will nolonger have a hand in party ticket distribution. This also virtually shuts eventhe crack of hope that Churchill Alemao was harbouring of getting the Lok Sabhaticket from South Goa in 2014.

Immediately after the morning session of the AICC meeting,Shirodkar speaking to The Goan said, "Yes that paragraph is very relevantto Goa. I will go back and take this up. We are duty bound to implementthis." When pressed this was just lip service, since neither Churchill,whose family members lost their seats, and Vishwajeet Rane, whose handpickedcandidates were routed, have been questioned, he said "Action will have tobe taken. I will go back and ensure that the message that has emerged from theChintan Shivir and the AICC meeting is communicated to every booth."

The issue of nepotism isn’t going to be forgotten in ahurry. After lunch, the newly appointed Vice President Rahul Gandhi, pulled atheartstrings and unleashed a tearjerker of a speech, admitting that his mothercried last night in his room. While the speech hogged the headlines, SubhashShirodkar and Shantaram Naik on the dias and Digambar Kamat sitting below,would do well to recollect a different paragraph from his speech. He said"When tickets are given for elections, grass root level leaders are neverasked, the district or the block is never asked for inputs. New leaders areborn and given tickets overnight. They are often defectors from other parties.They drop down from parachutes, lose elections and fly away and no one isquestioned."

When Shirodkar, Kamat and Shantaram Naik return to Goa, theyneed to answer to the people of Goa why they succumbed to various pressures,including those of the AICC desk in-charges and allowed the Ranes, Alemaos andthe Naiks to corner ticket distribution leading to the party's loss. Jaipur hasclearly re-opened a wound in Goa that has never really healed.

Share this