AAP's 'King' Elvis plots revolution from Cuncolim

AAP's 'King' Elvis plots revolution from Cuncolim
Goan historians often make a strong case for Cuncolim village, a pastoral patch in South Goa, as the backdrop for India’s first battle for independence in 1583 – way before mutineer Mangal Pandey’s 1857 Meerut exploits, when the locals killed Portuguese priests and others before boycotting taxes imposed by the colonists. According to the Aam Aadmi Party, however, the legislative assembly constituency of Cuncolim has in 2017 become a nucleus of another uprising, against corruption and malgovernance, led by its chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes.

Gomes (53) quit his job as a state civil services officer last year and plunged into the AAP poll campaign as convener of the party’s state unit before being appointed as the candidate from Cuncolim, where a multi-corner fight with six other candidates awaits him. “I could have continued in government service, but I made a choice to resign and clean the system of the same corrupt politicians who torment the people of Goa,” Gomes told DH. The AAP, he said, is a “revolution against corruption”.

Gomes’ arch rival is sitting BJP MLA Rajan Naik, a bus operator who polled 37.31% votes in the 2012 polls. Congress candidate Clafacio Dias, a contractor, and mining contractor Joaquim Alemao (Independent), who was runner-up with 30.98% votes, are the other two serious contenders in Cuncolim. If one goes by visibility and campaign blitz alone, Gomes would be a runaway winner. But in the world of complex electioneering and an electoral season where the presence of multiple parties on the poll trail are already making political heavyweights sweat in anxiety, the battle for Cuncolim promises to be a keen one.

Dias, for example, does not even consider the AAP candidate a factor in the elections. “Elvis Gomes was not interested in Cuncolim when he was a bureaucrat, while I have been in touch with the people for years, he said.
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