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Politics | Lok Sabha '98

People disappointed with Sonia


"In her, we see Indira Gandhi. Only she can save this country", he was saying, with a choked voice and tears flowing down his cheeks.

Prabhakar Kamat, a 52-year old Goan bank employee, is a Congress devotee since Goa was liberated in 1961. The Congress could rule the tourist state only since 1980, but he has been voting all its defeated candidates, simply because he respects the "great party".

"But vested interests have finished the party. Narasimha Rao damaged it totally", he was saying in anguish, while eagerly waiting to see Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law and the "saviour" of India.

But he did not represent the crowd which had gathered at a small Azad Maidan, which can accommodate maximum 5000 in full strength. With most of its area cordoned off due to security reasons, hardly one third of it was left for the people to sit, on chairs and down on the ground.

Some of them had come because their prospective Congress candidate had brought them while few had come because Fisheries Minister Sanjay Bandekar, also the Congress Seva Dal chief of Goa, was distributing Khadi kurta, sari and a Gandhi cap.

"Is it true that party has paid Rs 50 each to the people who have come here", Shantaram Gadekar, a Congress worker from Ahmednagar of Maharashtra, was seen enquiring. Since a group of his friends had come for some work at Sawantwadi, across the border, they made a trip to Goa to "see" Sonia.

"In Maharashtra, they don’t pay money. They only give us food and refreshments", he was saying, while feeling jealous of Goans.

His friend Dnyaneshwar Gadge, a BJP activist, also accompanied them, but with a firm opinion that Sonia will make no impact in Maharashtra. "Our people are fed up with the sugar lobby politics of the Congressman", he said, countering his Congress friend.

Raghurai, India’s leading photographer, also chose to come to Goa after visiting Sriperembudur and Hyderabad, with a great hope that he could shoot Sonia on a beautiful landscape in a background of a river or the sea and Goa’s scenic beauty.

"Hyderabad was great, with cut outs of all the leaders, from Mahatma Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, lined up like in a film studio. I expected something different in Goa. Why have they chosen such a place, surrounded with buildings all the sides", he was asking.

Film star Shashi Kapoor’s son Karan, also another professional photographer, turned out for a rally while holidaying in Goa. "Is the place chosen because they knew that people won’t come", he was asking.

"Very very poor show", he made one-line comment, when asked to react. Even Raghurai doubted whether Sonia would make much impact, after Congress facing so many corruption charges.

More than the Congress, Vanna Vannuccini, an Italian journalist belonging to la Repubblica, was upset with the BJP. She has been in India since 28th January to cover India’s 50 years of independence and extended her stay simply because Sonia decided to campaign for the party.

"No doubt Sonia’s family is still in Italy. But the news is significant only to that extent. It’s ridiculous to say that Rome will rule India if Sonia becomes the PM. It means nothing for us", she said in anguish. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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