Edit Corner

Mr ‘Rob’ in Hood…

I woke up this morning to the papers being flooded with greetings for the 62-year old birthday boy Churchill Alemao. From being hailed as the leader of the masses to the man with a heart of gold and many more such adjectives.
There is no doubt in my mind that as a personality, Churchill has a magnetic appeal which few politicians in Goa possess. People like him and tend to forgive him easily for his blunders; especially the ones he makes on media. In fact, if you Google Churchill Alemao you will also get a search string ‘Churchill Alemao Jokes’ – some jokes spurned on account of his foot-in-the-mouth disease.

But besides his over the top persona, his portrayal of a perfect husband, father, brother and uncle to his family and friend to his many followers; not everything about this politician is clean and his corrupt practices have grown beyond control or correction. And it is in his growing adamancy that he is bigger than the law he breaks and the people for whose welfare he claims to be working will always stand by him; will lie his biggest folly. To many Churchill Alemao is akin to Robin Hood; but in actuality he is indeed ‘Rob’ in Hood – a man who believes that because he wears a hood of a politician, which gives him a right to maneuver laws to his personal benefit, he can go about robbing tax-payers money.
Every single contractor that has taken PWD work rues the fact that they have to deal with Churchill because his extortionist habits and demands increase with each passing day. Those who suck up to him and drink from his bottle of Ballentines whisky (since the Glenfiddich he likes to drink with very special guests). So while he believes to be growing what is really happening, is that his over-confidence is now bringing his corrupt practices to the forefront.
For example only recently a source in the real estate broking business in Mumbai revealed to me that Churchill had purchased a 42 crore worth Bungalow in Juhu area. And we have asked our team to try and procure the necessary details or documents of the same to corroborate the claim; Or for that matter another claim that Churchill has taken out a Max New York Life Insurance two years ago of an astonishing 24 crore, with a premium of around 2cr per year. Though there are many claims and allegations to disproportionate assets on Churchill, nobody has been able to prove the same; since it is cleverly maneuvered between the family and some close friends.
Even the PWD malpractice which was exposed by Mickky Pacheco for which a police complaint was filed; this particular notice was de-notified by the state government on the behest of the vigilance department; yet it was brought back few days after he became the PWD minister and to the best of my knowledge it nothing more than a route to further the corruption in allotting PWD tenders under guise of quality PWD work. Interestingly, though, the Crime Branch has not yet filed an FIR on the issue and Mickky plans to take the issue to Court; whether this will weed out the corruption and nail Churchill Alemao only time will tell.
And on the same vein the football ground in Benaulim gifted to the Churchill Brothers Club by the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs of Goa is a clear violation and misuse of government powers and machinery for the benefit of one politician and his family. Yet the government remains silent on it in the wake of not upsetting Churchill’s apple-cart; since once in four months Churchill is always threatening to drop Digambar Kamat’s government. Even on the water-tanks issue that was raised by the Opposition party during Assembly; the government decided to work on a ex-postfacto approval of the scheme which did not exist in the first place in order to cover the corruption that the PWD minister had committed.
And as Churchill celebrates his 62nd birthday today and many in Goa will be praying for his welfare; please also pray that somewhere he wakes to reality of the corrupt practices that he has been doing and getting others in his family to follow suit; and while the idiom ‘crime does not pay’ sounds good in theory, in the case of Churchill it has been paying and has been paying well and it is time he pays for his crimes.

– Savio Rodrigues
  Founder & Editor
  savio@goachronicle.com

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