AAP’s CM face in Goa to be OBC, deputy CM Catholic: Manish Sisodia
The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief ministerial candidate in Goa will be from the Bhandari community, which falls under the other backward classes (OBC) category, while its deputy chief minister will be Catholic, the party announced on Thursday.
The two communities account for over 60% of Goa’s population.
Delhi’s deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia said the decisions were taken after a consultation with the party’s local leadership and leaders from the Bhandari community. He added they were unanimous in calling for a chief ministerial candidate from the “historically wronged” group.
“Goa was liberated 60 years ago (from the Portuguese). During this time, there have been chief ministers from various communities -- Brahmin, Marathi Gomantak Samaj, Catholic. But, from the Bhandari Samaj, there was only one chief minister -- Ravi Naik for two-and-a-half years,” Sisodia said. He added that, among the OBCs, the Bhandari community are a majority. “.... in Goa’s population, over 30% are from the Bhandari community, and they have contributed greatly towards the state.” He added that the community has never got its rightful place in Goa’s politics.
Sisodia said there was a lot of anger and disappointment within the community, and that is why the AAP has decided to have its chief ministerial face from it.
While the Bhandari Samaj did not directly welcome the move, association president, Ashok Naik, said they would support any party that gave maximum seats to members of the community. Others within the community, however, decried the move and accused the president of selling out to the AAP.
“There is no unanimity among the community over whom to support... Even the community’s leaders are spread across political parties...,” Anil Hoble, a former president and presently a vice-president of the BJP, said. Edwin Fonseca, a former president of Catholic Association of Goa, said: “It’s not as if Goa belongs to one community or another who should be preferred for political reasons. There could be many unintended consequences of such a move.” Political analyst Cleofato Almeida Coutinho said: “They could have announced the CM face without specifying his caste and community.”