Ex-deputy speaker named as Congress’ Goa poll campaign manager

February 8th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 8 (IANS) The Congress’ Goa unit Tuesday said the party high command has appointed former deputy speaker and minister Mauvin Godhino to manage the campaign for the 2012 poll.Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here, Congress state unit chief Subhash Shirodkar said the party was already in poll mode, well ahead of the state assembly polls likely to be held early next year and had already appointed an election campaign manager.

“We have appointed Mauvin Godhino as a campaign manager. He will lead the party to the polls,” Shirodkar said.

Godinho has been one of the two legislators who have been openly criticising the Congress-led coalition government in Goa, which has been facing scandal after scandal, ranging from illegal mining, police-politician-drug mafia nexus, and privatisation of hospitals in the recent past.

Incidentally, Godinho, a former power minister, had himself been arrested in a multi-crore power scam several years back.

A May 2010 Supreme Court order had passed strictures against Godinho in the same case for violating business rules to allot power rebate to several industrial units in the state during his tenure in 1996.

While Godinho has not formally accepted the newly-created position of campaign manager, Shrirodkar said the move would help the Congress start a focused election campaign much before the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), could even gear itself for polls.

“I am sure Godinho will do a terrific job. He is a senior leader and he will take the responsibility,” Shirodkar said.

Congress sources, however, said that Godinho’s aggressive posturing in the recently concluded winter session of the Goa legislative assembly, in which he took several ministers to task on issues relation to corruption, had forced the Congress high command to lure him with the post.

“More than accusations from the opposition, attacks made on the government by Mauvin and (former deputy chief minister) Dayanand Narvekar are more damaging. Such outbursts from our own need to be silenced by any means. We hope that his appointment will at least keep the adverse publicity about the scandals out of the press,” a state Congress leader said.

Ministers in the Digambar Kamat-led coalition cabinet have been busy dodging scandal after scandal, ever since the government was sworn to power in June 2007. The chief minister himself has been accused by the opposition of multi-crore scams in the mining and finance department, both of which function directly under Kamat.

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