The secretary general of the United Goans Democratic Party, (UGDP), Mr Anacleto Viegas, is firm that his party would contest the Cortalim by-election and field a candidate against Ms Alina Saldanha, who has made up her mind to enter politics after her husband and tourism minister, Matanhy Saldanha, died of a heart attack in the last month.
NT reporter, Roque Dias, spoke to the UGDP leader to know why he wanted to field a candidate in Cortalim despite his party putting up poor performance in the recently concluded state assembly elections.
Q: Has your party decided to contest the Cortalim by-election?
A: Yes. In a democracy, there is no value for sentiments. Importance should not be given to such sentiments and moreover, politically, these sentiments have no significance. We are firm on contesting the Cortalim seat.
Q: There is a sympathy wave in Cortalim in favour of Ms Alina Saldanha. How your party would tide over it?
A: Sympathy has no place in politics, I told you earlier. Tomorrow if a chief minister of a state dies, can his wife be made the chief minister just because there is sympathy for her? I would not accept it because there is a system of democracy and it is not a feudal system.
Q: But, there are certain hints that Ms Saldanha is likely to be made a minister before the Cortalim by-election?
A: The government wants to take advantage of the leader’s popularity is all I can say. Otherwise, why would there be such a hurry. In my opinion, this is against the ethics.
Q: UGDP has performed very badly in the recently concluded assembly polls. No candidate of your party has won the elections. In this backdrop, how will your party contest the Cortalim by-poll?
A: Several other political parties too have lost in the assembly polls. That does not mean we should cease to be in politics. We will put up a brave front in Cortalim.