Sat, 06 Jun, 2020

Salcete slams Vijai for ‘changing colour’

Priests call it betrayal of people’s verdict; GF mentor perceived as a villain

Story: the | goan | 14th March 2017, 04:26 Hrs

“It is a shame that the man who swore by Goem, Goemkar and Goemkarponn has backstabbed the people. The man who accused the party for the U-turns is now aligning with the very same party. We should be ashamed of this. Let us pray to God so that these people at least understand what shame is,” remarked a priest in one of the Churches in minority Salcete during the early morning mass on 
There was no mention of Goa Forward party mentor and Fatorda MLA-elect, Vijai Sardesai when the priest poured his outrage at the political developments unfolding in the State. Indeed, this sums up the mood in minority Salcete as people watched with shock and awe that the very party and the alliance partners, who they booted out in the taluka in the February 4 poll is now back in power with the very man who held the anti-BJP flag flying high in the last five years.
That shock and surprise overwhelmed people across Salcete is understandable given the fact that the Congress and the secular parties made a clean sweep of the taluka’s eight seats at stake, including Fatorda, which re-elected Vijai Sardesai on the Goa Forward banner. That’s not all. The BJP could not open its account in Salcete this time round, while former MLAs who had supported the BJP-led government were all shown the door.
That the BJP with support of Vijai Sardesai has staked claim to form the government under Manohar Parrikar’s leadership without inviting the single largest party to prove its majority has not gone down well with the people by and large. People in general had anticipated that the governor would call the Congress to form the government with secular minded parties like the NCP and the Goa Forward party.  
In fact, Vijai is being suddenly perceived as a villain responsible for resurrecting the BJP despite the people’s verdict against the ruling party.
Says political commentator, Adv Cleofato Coutinho: “People’s outrage and anger at Vijai is understandable because the BJP has no mandate to rule the State. People of Salcete and outside had decisively voted against the BJP. Secondly, Vijai was always looked upon as an anti-BJP hero, one who was always ready to take on the national party and would not compromise on secularism. Even in Fatorda, the Congress votes did not go for him, but at the same time, he pocketed the anti-BJP votes because of his strident attack on the BJP. It is but natural that people will get upset over the development.”  
Fr Eremito Rebello, Parish Priest of Rachol, accused Vijai of betraying the people of Goa by aligning with the BJP. In fact, Fr Eremito demanded that Vijai should resign on moral grounds since he has betrayed the people by aligning with BJP. “If Vijai has any moral conscience, he should immediately resign and seek re-election on the agenda of supporting the BJP-led government,” Fr Eremito asserted, while reiterating that the people of Fatorda must have certainly not voted for him to align with the BJP.
Vijai, however, says that his actions and not words would justify his decision to support the BJP-led government. “I understand the sentiments of the people of Salcete in particular and Goans in general. Give me some time to justify my decision. I want to reassure the people that nothing would be done against the core values of secularism and Goem, Goemkar and Goemkarponn. People of Goa will one day judge me by my actions,” he said.