Slow paced personalised campaign, bonhomie marked Goa’s elections in 90s 

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Panaji: Against the fast paced elections laced with the strong political rivalries during the current years, the Parliament elections were peaceful in 90s in Goa, recalls former MP Ramakant Angle.
Angle was the first Member of Parliament to represent BJP from South Goa Parliamentary constituency in the year 1999, defeating then Congress strongman Joaquim Alemao and senior politician Dr Wilfred D’Souza.

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Angle recalled how the elections were “more of a personal affairs” that time. “There were no gadgets. I had to travel across the length and breadth of the constituency to appeal people to vote for me,” he said.

The former MP claims that Atal Behari Vajpayee wave in the country helped BJP to wrestle both the seats in Goa in the year 1999. Shripad Naik was elected from North Goa Assembly constituency during the same election.

“Traditionally, Goa has been a very peaceful state as far as politics is concerned. The political differences were only in the public spaces but when it comes to personal relationships, even the worst political enemies used to be the best of the friends,” said Angle, who has now taken retirement from politics.

Goa’s first CM Dayanand Bandodkar and first Leader of Opposition Jack Sequeira were sworn political enemies but at personal level, they shared a different equation of friendship, he said.

In 90s when Angle contested, the mobiles had just arrived but hadn’t percolated to the masses. He remembers how pick up vehicles mounted with loudspeakers were one of the main source of election campaigning in Goa.

Angle was responsible for getting scheduled Tribe status to Gauda, Kunbi, Velip communities in Goa, who are now asking for the political reservation.
“I submitted application before the centre and immediately a committee was formed to study the issue of ST status to these communities,” Angle recalled.

When committee members arrived in Goa, they were given warm welcome by the tribals dressed in their traditional wear at the Airport. The committee was convinced at the first impression only, he said.

After Angle’s victory, the BJP has won only once in South Goa Parliamentary seat, that is in the year 2014 when Narendra Sawaikar defeated Congress candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco.

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