Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal launched on Monday his campaign to “liberate Goa from bad governments”, announcing former career bureaucrat Elvis Gomes will be the Aam Aadmi Party chief ministerial face in the coastal state.
The announcement came on Monday evening at Kejriwal’s first public meeting in the state in seven months. Kejriwal had held his last public meeting in Goa in May.
On Monday, Kejriwal was flanked by Gomes and other party candidates at the rally in South Goa’s Cuncolim, from where the CM face will contest.
The choice of Gomes’ constituency for holding the rally is loaded with political symbolism because December 19 is also observed as Goa Liberation Day – when the state was liberated by the Indian armed forces from its colonial rulers, the Portugese, 55 years ago.
The AAP has promised to liberate Goa from what it says are corrupt political regimes of the past, led either by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress.
A career bureaucrat, Gomes had resigned in July, alleging victimisation by the BJP government. He was serving as the inspector general of prisons when he sought voluntary retirement and joined the AAP.
The AAP is not only hoping to open its electoral tally in the state, but also considers itself a serious contender for forming the government.
The party has already declared 32 of the 40 candidates, and its volunteers and workers launched a door-to-door campaign for their party back in September.
The run-up to the Goa election has seen both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visiting the state.