MARGAO: Lying low for nearly two years after the rout of Alemao family in the hustings, former PWD minister Churchill Alemao has hit back at his political adversaries and has regained control over the Benaulim block Congress.
Churchill has had his way when he got the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCCC) to oust Benaulim block president and former Cavelossim Sarpanch Edwin Barretto from the post and install his close aide at the helm of Benaulim block affairs. The unceremonious exit of Edwin Barretto from office paved the way for Benaulim Panch David Fernandes to take over the reigns of Benaulim Congress. What’s interesting to note is that the GPCC in a bid to accede to Churchill’s demand did not even bother or had the courtesy to inform Edwin about his replacement from the post of Benaulim Block Congress committee. In fact, he came to know about his replacement as Benaulim Congress chief via media reports on Wednesday after the announcement was made by GPCC chief Subhash Shirodkar on Tuesday. “I was shocked to learn that I have been removed as Benaulim block Congress chief. I have nothing to say for the moment, but I will take up the matter with the Congress High Command”, Edwin said, who was in the past perceived as a close aide of former chief minister and AICC General Secretary Luizinho Faleiro.
When Herald contacted the GPCC chief about the change in the Benaulim Block, Shirodkar confirmed media reports that Benaulim Panch David Fernandes has been appointed as the new Benaulim Block president. Shirodkar declined to go into Edwin’s claim that he was not informed about the changes, saying that the party would accommodate the outgoing Benaulim president in the party set up. “Normally, when a Block president moves out, he is accommodated in the district Congress committee. Edwin will find a place in the district committee,” Shirodkar added.
There was no love lost between Edwin and the Alemao’s in the run up to the 2012 Assembly polls with the former Cavelossim Sarpanch staking his claim to contest from Benaulim. Edwin had complained of humiliation at the hands of party leadership when he and other senior Congress leaders from Benaulim did not even find a place on the dais when the Congress rally descended at the Dando grounds before the selection of tickets.
On the other hand, Churchill had been on record, accusing Edwin of anti-party activities for having worked against Valanka in Benaulim. “Yes, I had complained against Edwin to the party High Command how Edwin and others had worked against the Congress in Benaulim. I have evidence to show how he had worked against the Congress,” Churchill added, even as he wholeheartedly welcomed Shirodkar’s announcement of the decision to appoint David Fernandes as the new Benaulim Congress block president.