Five years ago, it was your wholehearted backing and support that lent me the strength and confidence to contest the assembly elections as an independent candidate. My victory was your victory and a reaffirmation of each and every Fatoddekar’s pride and self-determination. It was a victory for the cause of development, justice, clean public life and secularism.
Five years have passed since that historic day of our victory. During this period, I have strived to perform to my utmost capabilities as a law-maker and as your representative in the hallowed house of the Goa Legislative Assembly. I have also worked on the ground in Fatorda to fulfil all your expectations. I might not have been able to satisfy all of you all the time, but I assure you that it has not been due to any lack of effort or thought on my part. As an independent MLA, who has always sought to be a vocal and effective opposition, I have faced many hurdles in my mission to serve our constituency. But, in spite of this, you have stood by me and have backed me throughout this term. I will be eternally grateful to all of you for this.
Over the last year or so, I have been thinking about the 2017 assembly elections. I have taken the liberty of presuming that you will wish that I represent Fatorda in the next assembly. But the constraints that an independent MLA faces are a reality one cannot escape. Also, even as Fatorda has progressed to a great extent, it is time for all of us to think about our beloved state of Goa. It is an undeniable fact that Goa has not seen a worse Government than the one we are now having. The aspirations and hopes of Goans have been throttled by both the ruling party and the principle opposition, who have together failed in their sacred duty to serve the people of Goa. For the last five years, I have seen the machinations of the administration and its political masters from close quarters and have become aware of the fact that the local BJP-led government has only been a slave to its bosses from Delhi. The previous Congress dispensation was also dictated to from Delhi. It is my conclusion, as it must be of each and every vigilant and conscious Goan, that a national party cannot do justice to the needs and aspirations of a Goemkar. Goem is surely, and not slowly, losing its Goemkarponn.
We do not have too much time to save our Goa from totally losing its identity and from deteriorating into a cesspool of corruption, communalism and chaos. The only political solution to avoid this catastrophe is for Goa to have its own political party. Not just another regional party – we have experienced too many of them and each one has turned out to be a fly-by-night operator, but a truly regionalistic party. Regionalistic means loyalty to the interests of a particular region, in this case, our Goem. I sincerely think that, in this mission for Goemkarponn, Fatorda can show the right path to the rest of Goa.
My inspiration is the idea that we, all together, gave birth to – Fatorda Forward. I remember the day, a year ago, when we came to know of the chicanery carried out by the BJP in the delimitation process of the Margao municipal wards. I had told the press that day that we will contest the elections, but that we were winning zero wards as of then. Fatorda Forward was born, we toiled hard for a month or so and won all eleven wards. It showed us that “we can”. The time has come to prove it once again. We have taken Fatorda Forward over the last five years and we have to shoulder a greater responsibility now. We have to take Goa Forward. We have to do it now for there could be no tomorrow. We have to be ready to offer blood, sweat and tears for our Goem. But we are not alone. Goemkar from all over the state are willing to take part in the battle, standing shoulder to shoulder with us. We cannot allow our Goemkarponn to die on us.
The task is not easy, but not impossible. I assure you that “we can”. We can win and we will win. We just have to believe in ourselves. Goa Forward stands for all that is Goan – freedom, development, liberalism, progressive thought, secularism, justice and all humanitarian values. Goa Forward has a very simple ideology – Goem, Goemkar, Goemkarponn. Let us ensure that this ideology wins against the forces of divisiveness, corruption and communalism.
Let us prove that “WE CAN” take “GOA FORWARD”.