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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Signs of major cracks in Mapusa Congress Camp, Tarak Arolkar to contest elections from Mapusa under TMC

As all the political parties are gearing up for the upcoming Goa Legislative Assembly elections to be held on 14th February, 2022, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC / TMC) appears to have charged up its campaign. TMC has announced its List-3 of candidates where Tarak Arolkar (Mapusa), Bholanath Ghadi Sakhalkar (Saligao), Jayesh K. Shetgaonkar (Mormugao), Saifula Khan (Vasco-da-Gama), Kanta Kashinath Gaude (Quepem) and Rakhi Naik (Sanguem) find mention.

However, the candidature of Tarak Arolkar from Mapusa is expected to bring trouble for the Congress in Mapusa as well as Aldona constituencies. The said Tarak Arolkar and his brother Vikas Arolkar are elected councilors from Ward No. 7 and Ward No. 8 respectively of the Mapusa Municipal Council. Soon after getting elected in the recently held Mapusa Municipal Council elections, the duo had jumped into the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). However, within a matter of 4 months, both quit BJP and joined the Congress instead.

Sudhir Kandolkar had played the key role in getting Arolkar brothers to join the Congress. Tarak Arolkar had expressed his interest in contesting the upcoming assembly elections from Aldona and was assured the party ticket by Kandolkar, Senior Congress Leader Digambar Kamat and the Goa Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar. Arolkar had also started his political campaign from Aldona. However, it appears that the former BJP minister and ex-MLA of Calangute Mr. Micheal Lobo who has recently joined Congress propagated against the candidature of Arolkar from Aldona due to lack of winnability and supported the candidature of Adv. Carlos Alvares Fereira from Aldona who is now the Congress candidate in Aldona. Arolkar after exit from Congress, has now joined TMC under the leadership of Kiran Kandolkar and has found place in their List-3 as their candidate from Mapusa.

As Arolkar was widely known to be a very close associate of Sudhir Kandolkar, these turn of events are expected to bring major impact to Kandolkar and Mapusa Congress. In the 2019 Mapusa By-elections too, Arolkar was said to be the person at helms of Kandolkar’s campaign.Thus, Arolkar being the man with first hand experience of Kandolkar’s 2019 Mapusa By-election campaign shall severely affect Congress prospects in Mapusa.

Meanwhile, both Arolkar and Kandolkar represent the Bhandari community. Arolkar is known as a more aggressive and reassuring face compared to Kandolkar. Although Arolkar being younger than kandolkar he has well managed to establish his image as a young face of the Bhandari community. Therefore, the bhandari community tends to be more inclined towards Arolkar than kandolkar. So, the political experts predict that, being highly educated could pose a daunting challenge to BJP candidate Joshua D’souza.

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