Congress bigwigs skipped the Opinion Poll Day celebrations held at the South Goa district party office here on Wednesday.
While some of the bigwigs are believed to have headed to Mangalore for the wedding reception of the son of Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, many others simply failed to make it for the function.
Unlike last time when party leaders led by party president Subhash Shirodkar and former chief ministers, Ravi Naik and Digambar Kamat, besides Filipe Neri Rodrigues and other attended the district office inauguration, not a single heavyweight turned up for the Opinion Day celebrations.
Of the nine party MLAs, only two of them– Babu Kavlekar and Reginaldo Lourendo–were conspicuous by their presence for the 46th Opinion Poll anniversary celebrations at the party’s district office. Party office-bearers, including vice-presidents, Luis Alex Cardozo and M K Sheikh, general secretary Altinho Gomes, besides district Congress chief Subhash Faldessai were present for the function.
While remembering the sacrifices of the people of Goa who fought to maintain Goa’s separate identity, Congress leaders spoke about rejuvenating the party by inducting young blood in the party.
In his address, legislator Babu Kavlekar said Congressmen can look forward to happy days in the days ahead. He gave a call for the Congress workers to take a pledge to ensure the party wins both Lok Sabha seats.
Curtorim legislator Lourenco underlined the need for Congressmen to strive to keep Goenkarpon above any other interest. He hoped the party will infuse fresh blood in the organization, exuding confidence that the people will rally behind the Congress once again. He took pot shot at Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, saying “We fooled the people and people sent us home. Now, Parrikar has set out to fool the people in a better way.”
Congress leader Luis Alex Cardozo said party leaders should either be true Congressmen or quit the party. Party general secretary Gomes recalled the sacrifices made by the people to stop Goa’s merger with Maharashtra, while Domnic Fernandes and M K Sheikh paid tributes to the people who worked to retain Goa’s separate identity.
On the occasion, the party honoured four persons, including three posthumously for their contribution to the Opinion Poll movement. They are Evaristo Soares, Yesso Rama Gaonkar, Mariano Minguel Vaz and Pandurang Sambari.
Soares called for the erection of a befitting Opinion Poll memorial to remember the sacrifices of all the people who fought to retain Goa’s separate identity.
Courtesy : Herald