Become a Goa Congress President for Rs 10 Lacs?
GoaChronicle.com brings to its readers an account of how a Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) secretary appointed by All India Congress Committee (AICC) Goa Desh-in-Charge Jagmeet Singh Brar offered to make a senior Congress leader the next GPCC president for Rs 10 lacs…
Wheeling-dealing for tickets and position in the Congress party across the country is not new to anyone in the political corridors of the nation. During the ticket selection for the Goa Assembly Elections 2012, political families exerted tremendous pressure on senior party leaders at the Centre who finally succumbed to the dictates of a few in the Goa political scene. Strong allegations were made against the Head of the Congress Election Committee (CEC) Oscar Fernandes of taking a considerable sum to allow tickets in favor of the family politics being played out in Goa, in particular the Alemao political family. Even the AICC – Goa Desk In-Charge Jagmeet Singh Brar and Sudhakar Reddy faced serious allegations in this regard. The end result of course was that Congress was voted out of power.
Now however with the reshuffling of GPCC becoming of prime importance, newly elected positions in the Goa Unit have also become valuable – in particular the coveted post of the President of GPCC, with many senior leaders vying and lobbying openly as well as secretly for this position. Some see it as a leverage for the forthcoming Lok Sabha 2014 Elections, while others see it as a continuation to their political hold in the state. Which would explain why after six months of the resignation of GPCC president Subash Shirodkar, the AICC has not yet found its replacement. Though, one thing AICC is clear about is that it would put a Christian candidate to head the affairs of Goa.
Seeing an opportunity to make hay while the sun shines on the selection to the post of GPCC president; GoaChronicle.com investigations have revealed that a GPCC secretary (not of Goan origin but having lived in Goa for a considerable period of time) appointed by Brar prior to the Goa Assembly Elections has now began lobbying on behalf of particular candidates for the post of GPCC president in Delhi (he is currently in Delhi). He has approached two main contenders, one refused to have anything to do on the lobbying front, since he already has most of the Congress MLAs on his side, who have been lobbying for him with the high command. One however, decided to play ball with the GPCC secretary cum lobbyist.
On September 27, 2012 in the first-half of the day, the GPCC secretary in question had spoken a potential GPCC presidential candidate (a senior politician from the state, who has also held a senior position in Delhi not with the Congress but its ally). Excerpts of the conversation which was shared with GoaChronicle.com by the politician (who was shocked and amused at the same time by the demand). The secretary categorically stated that, “Rs 10,00,000 needs to be arranged to be given to Mr Brar and all hurdles from AICC will be cleared for you to become GPCC president. So if you can have it sent to me, I will deliver it to him.” To which the politician replied, “Tell Mr Brar that I will take care of him personally.”
The politician who himself has been lobbying hard at the Centre on his presidential candidature, claimed to entertain the GPCC secretary as a member of the Congress party and a reference of Brar. But was intrigued when demand for money started to find its way in the conversation.
The secretary (who has been in Delhi for the last one week) on the next day, September 28, 2012 sent the politician an SMS reminder, contents of which read as thus, “please have Rs 6 lacs transferred immediately for me to proceed forward.” Again the politician kept him in good humor stating that he will take care of Mr Brar and him if the job is done.
When GoaChronicle.com spoke to senior GPCC members on whether such acts happen in the Congress party and whether the GPCC president position is up-for-sale to the highest bidder, many appeared to be shocked about this maneuvering. They certainly did not deny such a possibility especially if it involved AICC Desk-in-Charge Brar or Reddy, but were surprised about the amount. Many felt that such wheeling-dealing was normal in ticket distribution but for the post of party President especially at this juncture when the party in Goa is in dilapidated state, it was indeed disturbing and shocking.
On speaking to senior AICC officials, GoaChronicle.com realised that they too appeared to be stumped and were not willing to accept such a claim. They suggested that if some members of GPCC have experienced such an issue then the matter must be raised in a formal letter to the AICC President Sonia Gandhi. More importantly, none of the highly influential AICC officials were willing to acknowledge the lobbying prowess of the GPCC secretary or his clout in Delhi. One committed saying, “AICC has many hangars hanging the office, some are smart in enough to pull wool over over-ambitious yet naïve politicians. But AICC never endorses such acts or people.”
Interestingly, according to some GPCC members, it was revealed that the GPCC secretary appointed by Brar, has been making such promises to other ambitious GPCC members, however, no one had any evidence to make any allegations.
Though the GPCC President Subash Shirodkar has been made aware about the wheeling-dealing of this GPCC secretary through different GPCC sources, no action has been initiated for fear of being reprimanded by the AICC Desk-in-Charge Brar.
The appointment of the particular GPCC secretary who claims to have been transferred from Delhi to Goa on insistence of Goa Desk-in-Charge Brar has not completed the normal process of appointment. In fact the list approved by the AICC president Sonia Gandhi and signed by Janardhan Dwivedi this particular GPCC secretary’s name along with some other do not feature at all. A second list was made public by GPCC and AICC Desk-in-Charge to favor some leaders.
If selling a GPCC presidential post for mere Rs 10 lacs is the order of the day for the Congress party or some of its representatives, it should not come as a surprise to the people of Goa, that Congress appears to falling under the weight of its own wheeling-dealing.