Monday , 22 April 2019

Congress at Crossroads in Goa

ONE can’t but be bemused to note that while at the Centre where there is no clarity as yet as to when a decision on the issue of the Leader of Opposition in the new House will be taken; the opposition in Goa, a defined one, though inadequate in numbers to worry the treasury bench, virtually fights for survival to last the whole term of its tenure. Ironically it is not any external risk that bothers the Congress but the spectre of an internal rebellion that threatens to wipe out the last vestiges of the party in the state. It definitely is the worst comedown for a party that has time and again managed to cobble together a combination to remain in power immaterial of the mandate received. Members ditching the party on the eve of elections to contest the polls either independently or on nomination by other political outfits have had the dubious distinction of being welcomed back into Congress with open arms, especially in Goa. But this time around, there are no such ‘prodigal’ sons and daughters on whom the Congress could have relied upon to pull them out of the woods. Political annihilation of such players who were past masters at the art of ‘party-hopping’ has ensured that the Congress will have to manage with its elected-lot in this assembly. Moreover, one can hardly foresee anyone from the ruling front willing to switch loyalties at this juncture at least. Moreover the dissent within the party is on the verge of claiming casualties for the Congress with a few legislators either overtly showing the willingness to cross the floor in the House or resigning from the party to contest elections again. The graft charges against some senior members too have had a debilitating effect on the fortunes of the party. So pathetic is the morale within the ranks that on the eve of the monsoon session of the Goa assembly another lacklustre performance by the opposition ensemble is a foregone conclusion. A slugfest between the CM and the Independent legislator from Fatorda, as anticipated by the media, may yet prove to be the icing on the cake. But that would be a very poor consolation! Not that there are any dearth of issues for the opposition to corner the ruling dispensation with. But the Congress as the opposition in Goa lacks the courage and conviction to go hammer and tongs at the ruling BJP over issues that the government needs to address on priority.

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