Goa: 11 Months After Embarrassing BJP... Mission To Build Bridges Of Friendship

Goa: 11 Months After Embarrassing BJP... Mission To Build Bridges Of Friendship

The former Chief Minister is trying to to mend fences with political rivals from his home taluka, politically significant Salcete.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Friday, August 18, 2023, 06:10 PM IST
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Margao MLA downplays speculations, claims enjoying cordial relations with every politician | The Goan Network

MARGAO: What’s Congress-turned-BJP Margao MLA up to, is a question asked in Saxtti’s political circles as it’s now 11 months since the willy former Congress Chief Minister had quit the Congress on September 14 last to return back to the BJP fold after 17-long years.

Many say the eight-time Margao MLA may be patiently waiting for the BJP leadership to reward him the promised Cabinet berth in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s dispensation. 

The former Chief Minister, however, seemed on a different mode – to mend fences with political rivals from his home taluka, politically significant Salcete. Many say the eight-time Margao MLA may be patiently waiting for the BJP leadership to reward him the promised Cabinet berth in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s dispensation. 

The former Chief Minister, however, seemed on a different mode – to mend fences with political rivals from his home taluka, politically significant Salcete.

Kamat's relations with Vijaibab Sardesai turns sour

Post-September 14, 2022, Kamat’s relations with friend-turned-foe Goa Forward chief Vijaibab Sardesai has hit rock bottom, with the Fatorda MLA losing no opportunity to take on his ex-alliance partner both inside the Assembly and outside.

The Margao MLA, however, seemed on a different mode, out to make peace with a host of Saxtti’s political heavyweights, more so after he embraced the BJP around 11 months ago. Political observers have been trying to find out Digambar’s game plan in the political scheme of things – whether it is all part of a plan to re-emerge as a leader in Salcete, where as many as eight Assembly seats are at stake or is it simply an attempt to ensure there’re not too many opponents in his backyard in the event the BJP leadership zeroes in on his candidature for the South Goa Lok Sabha seat in 2024.

The unassuming Margao MLA, however, sought to downplay all speculations. “I enjoy cordial relations with everyone. My nature is that I do not consider any politician as my enemy. When the idea originated from Raia to have an exhibition football match with Reginaldo Lourenco-captained team on Independence Day, I welcomed the proposal,” Kamat informed. A report.

When Kamat extended olive branch to Churchill with invite for Carnival floats

When Kamat extended olive branch to Churchill with invite for Carnival floats | The Goan Network

Former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao was the first political heavyweight with whom Kamat extended an olive branch earlier this year. After embracing the BJP, Kamat offered a handshake to the former Benaulim MLA by inviting him for the Margao Carnival float parade.

Churchill made his presence felt at the float parade, and was welcomed with open arms by the Margao MLA, facilitating a thaw in their relations. Take note, Churchill and Kamat did not see eye to eye since 2012 when the former PWD Minister in Kamat’s Cabinet, openly accused him for the defeat of the Alemao family in the husting. Relations between the duo did not improve since then with Churchill in private again pointing accusing fingers at Kamat for working towards his defeat in the 2022 elections.

Much water has flown down the river Sal since the last one year. Churchill’s acceptance of Digambar’s invitation at the Margao Carnival floats was seen in political circles as a thaw in their relations. It is sheer coincidence that the thaw in the Churchill-Kamat relations came at a time when Churchill enjoyed a hot and cold relationship with Goa Forward chief Vijai Sardesai.

Since the carnival festivities, political observers say one has not heard of Churchill complaining against his former Chief Minister.

Exhibition football match brings old political foes Digambar-Reginaldo together

Exhibition football match brings old political foes Digambar-Reginaldo together | The Goan Network

Independent Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco was under the cynosure of all eyes on Independence Day in his backyard Raia. Reason: Attired in a sports jersey, the four-time MLA descended on the Raia football ground to play an exhibition match against bitter political rival Digambar Kamat-led Margao Municipal team. It was, but natural that the Digambar-Reginaldo’s presence on the football field raised eyebrows amongst Saxtti-based political observers. For, the duo had been long time political foes, right from the days when Kamat presided over the State as the Congress Chief Minister. The duo never enjoyed cordial relations, with Reginaldo accusing the Kamat-Girish combine behind the state of affairs in the Congress party.

Sources said the last straw came after Reginaldo’s offer to return to the Congress fold after he quit the Trinamool Congress party found no takers in the Congress, so much so that many a Reginaldo supporters openly accused Kamat for stopping his return to the party fold.

Margao MLA’s bonhomie with AAP, Cong MLAs in Salcete

Margao MLA’s bonhomie with AAP, Cong MLAs in Salcete | The Goan Network

Margao MLA’s bonhomie with AAP, Cong MLAs in Salcete

The Congress-turned-BJP Margao MLA, sources say, shares a close rapport with the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, especially Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas, besides Congress MLAs, Opposition leader Yuri Alemao and neighbouring Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa. In fact, many say that Venzy had turned to Kamat over issues affecting Benaulim, including the discharge of raw sewage into river Sal and the Western bypass. Political observers say the Kamat group in the Congress would have gone out of the way to seek support of AAP to form the government in 2022 if the party had come close in the numbers game.

Sources in the know pointed out that the Margao MLA also enjoys cordial relations with Opposition leader Yuri Alemao and former Minister Joaquim Alemao. In fact, many say that Kamat was responsible to welcome Yuri in the Congress party in the run up to the 2022 Assembly polls. Sources further say that Quepem Congress MLA Altone D’Costa also shares a close rapport with the Margao MLA.

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