Friday 12 April 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Alina could win; the Congress way


In principle, if the Bharatiya Janata Party is against the Family Raj, then Cortalim ticket should not go to Alina Saldanha, wife of late Matanhy. But in reality, if the BJP wants to win the seat once again, the ticket should go to none other than Alina.

In principle, if the Bharatiya Janata Party is against the Family Raj, then Cortalim ticket should not go to Alina Saldanha, wife of late Matanhy. But in reality, if the BJP wants to win the seat once again, the ticket should go to none other than Alina. It’s a cakewalk then to win the seat. Because emotions presently reign supreme as far as Cortalim is concerned. Other logics are simply immaterial.

An argument may come from the BJP that they are not in favour of giving more than one ticket in one family. Here, in this case, ticket goes to only one person. Since Matanhy is no more, it goes to his wife. But the point remains that the ticket ultimately goes to the same family of Saldanha.

The BJP may also say that Family Raj of Dhawalikar brothers in the Manohar Parrikar government was inevitable since they belong to the MGP and not the BJP. But it is not known till date what compelled Mr Parrikar to give two cabinet berths in one family of the MGP when the BJP is enjoying a majority of 21 in the 40-member House. Accommodating the MGP in the cabinet may be the spirit of coalition Dharma. But why then Adharma of following Family Raj, a la the Congress?

Matanhy was a grassroot worker, a visionary and had concrete plans for Goa, unlike today’s quite a few social activists who only oppose and not propose. Only negativism; no positivism. Alina has spent 20 years with Matanhy, just not as his wife but as his shadow in his whole socio-political life. She is the only person who knows what his views on various issues were and what approach he had towards resolving several issues. In that sense, she may be the right candidate.

In fact; who knows; she may prove better than Matanhy. If elected, no doubt she would be given the ministerial berth. Precisely that’s the reason the cabinet berth has been kept vacant since Matanhy’s sad demise.

Why did the Congress lose so miserably in the last election? Well, one prime reason was the Family Raj, claims everybody in spite of Ranes and Dhawalikars getting elected once again. If the anti-Family Raj was the wave, then it should not wither away but should get strengthened further after election. If so, then neither the BJP nor the Congress should dare to field candidate from the same family in Cortalim or even in future elections.

But with Alina’s name figuring prominently in the BJP list, it is certain that the decision is being taken after sensing the public mood. It is in favour of Saldanha family than any other candidate. It is the same decision taken by the Congress when Indira Gandhi was killed and also when Rajiv Gandhi was killed. Matanhy, throughout his life, vehemently opposed all such Congress traditions. Sadly, his memory is being used today for similar political gains, following footsteps of the Congress.

The victory of the BJP candidate appears certain in Cortalim, for two reasons. One, the memory of Matanhy which Alina would carry on her shoulders during election campaign, making every meeting an emotional affair. Secondly, the BJP is already in power and the elected MLA is bound to be the minister. Why then the ‘wise’ voter would vote for the opposition MLA who will have no position, except on the opposition benches of the Assembly?

In short, it would be thus the Family Raj spirit, the carrot of ministerial berth and the selfish attitude of the voter that would help the BJP to win the Cortalim seat. The same reasons which the Congress was trying to capitalize upon all these years. The same reasons which Matanhy was critical of, throughout his life. It would be the Congress culture of the leaders as well as its followers that would make the BJP victorious.

Long live Democracy!!!

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

Thomas Gracias, Matanhy Saldanha could not match the money and muscle power of Congress candidates and basicly it was ignorancy of voters which led Matanhy Saldanha to elect only two times during numberous contests.Being a resident of Cortalim I kindly request you to make a point to elect Alina with a thumping majority.We need her not to carry Matanhy legacy but to keep away nafarious characters from Congress,UGDP and Mickey Mouse party away from the legislative Assembly.

James |

Hi A. Pinto , OLAULIM:::::: I agree with you. One person cannot or does not make a "FAMILY". A family is usually a unit or group of people related by blood.

Alina Saldanha is purely inheriting, a vacant post,left by her husband.And by all accounts, and for good reasons,by the wish of the people .

She will have no other member of her family in the Legislature or as an MLA...or in Power..

N.Fernandes |

This EditThought article is certainly interesting.

It has dealt with the vagaries or whimsical concepts of "FAMILY RAJ".

However if looked at with a pragmatic or logical mind, and with a precise description,it would appear different.

Family Raj could best be described as; keeping it within the family.

However let us look at this from 2 different angles.

In the recently concluded elections,many Ministers and MLA`s belonging to the Congress Party, and in power, were desperate to get their family membesr elected.For this, many MInisters and MLA`s too used all possible means,mostly corrupt to get their kin elected.

The main culprits involved in this method of Family Raj,that were abusing their power & prevelige were Churchill Alemao (daughter Valanka), Joaquim Alemao (Son Yuri), Ravi Naik (sons Roy & Ritesh) Babush Monseratte ( wife Jennifer),Pandurang Madkaikar (Brother).Francisco Sardinha would have been included,but for his son Shalom backing -out.

The Ranes & Dhavliakars were already elected previously and purely reinstated back again.NO new family members were being promoted.

The case of Alina Saldanha is a whole different ball game and completely different.She never sought power while Mathany Saldanha was alive, or in power previously,... and neither did Mathany wish her to be an MLA or sought a position for her in the Legislature.There was no issue of family raj in this instance.

Alina Saldanha has never laid claim to the vacant seat left by Mathany Saldanha, following his sudden demise.In truth and as a matter of fact, she has been invited by the BJP and well-wishers to contest Cortalim. I do not believe for one moment that Mathany Saldanha ever suggested to his wife Alina, that she must, at all costs, contest Cortalim,should he die or pass away. Had he done so , then we could construe this request as being an element of Family Raj.

There is one major difference.While the likes of the Alemaos ,Monserattes Naiks etc were forcing their kin upon the electorate,Alina Saldanha was purely & simply invited or kindly requested to contest.

Her decision to contest should not be viewed as "Family Raj".She is the only one of her family.And stricly speaking,one person does not make a family .A "family" cannot be described as one person (SOLO) only.A family or Family raj is best described as...."any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

N.Fernandes |

excellent article the pros and cons suitably justified,but under the sympath wave wont hold water as seen from the comments, my only question to the electorate is why was Matany who was contesting elections for nearly 30 years just elected twice?

thomas gracias |

It also gives BJP an oppurtunity to have a woman in the Cabinet. once she wins.....last time round the BJP did not field a single woman candidate.

Alinto Coelho |

I don't agree many views of this article. I even don't this if BJP gives ticket to Alina it can be called as family raj. I think she wil be the right candidate for Cortalim as she knows what Mathani wanted to do for Goa and his constituency.

If u think that there is no difference between Congress and BJP if ticket is given to Alina let people decide if they agree with your view. Let wait and watch

Sadashiv |

Mr. Editor what family Raj you are talking about ? Electing another person after minister's death. In democracy there is no family Raj as the electorate are supreme. Moreover Mrs. Alina Saldanha is a people's candidate unlike the Alemaos ,Ranes and Dhavlikars. Family Raj tag may suit for the people who are accumulating wealth for their children and grand children or even great grand children. Mr. Matanhy Saldanha is and will always be a symbol of honesty who loved his motherland Goa from the bottom of his heart and worked towards its development and aspirations of Goans even to his last breath. It may sound strange to you and other Goans. There was never a minute he never thought of Goa. His every talk was Goa & Goans. And I am a witness to it.

Mrs. Alina Saldanha is also a candidate in her own right.She is well educated and always took part in the struggles on environment along with Mr. Matanhy Saldanha. She was even lathi charged at the time of Meta Strips. And being the wife of Matanhy she stood by him at the darkest hour. She is the only person who knew Mr. Saldanha in and out and that is the reason why we want Alina to contest the election and carry on with the unfinished work which Matanhy wanted to do.

A. Pinto |

Blogger's Profile


Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is a journalist, presently the Editor of, Goa's oldest exclusive news website since 1996. He has earlier worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Prudent & Goa365, Goa's TV channels and Editor of Sunaparant, besides working as a reporter for Goan and national dailies & weeklies in English and Marathi since 1987. He also reports for the BBC. He is also actively involved in literary and cultural activities. After retirement from day-to-day journalism in 2020, he is into Re-Search Journalism (पुनर्सोद पत्रकारिता), focusing on analytical articles, Video programs & Books.


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