MARGAO: The aftermath of cyclone Tauktae and the Covid-19 pandemic have served as convenient grounds for politicians to enhance their visibility among voters ahead of the 2022 assembly election. While in Fatorda constituency it’s a political slugfest between the two local power centres as reported by TOI earlier, in Sanguem constituency, BJP ex-MLA Subhash Phal Dessai and its Mahila Morcha vice-president Savitri Kavlekar, wife of deputy CM Chandrakant Kavlekar, are competing to cement ties with their voters from remote villages by offering relief measures, in an attempt to portray Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar in poor light.
Both Phal Desai and Kavlekar were defeated by Gaonkar in the 2017 assembly polls.
While Phal Dessai claimed to have taken initiative for restoring power to Karla hamlet in Cavrem-Pirla panchayat, which was reeling under blackout for nine days, Kavlekar has been distributing essential commodities to people affected by Covid-19, particularly to those in home isolation, in the remote areas of Netravali, Vadem-Curdi and Rivona.
“During my visit, villagers of Cajur, Verlem and Saljini placed their grievances about the deteriorated roads leading to the villages. After inspection, I found that they have been totally washed out and urgent repairs are required to make them motorable. I have assured them of restoring the road,” Phal Dessai told reporters.
On Tuesday, Phal Dessai led a delegation of party workers and met chief minister Pramod Sawant, bringing to his attention to the bad condition of the Verlem-Saljini road in Netravali. Sawant, it is learnt, promptly directed the PWD to repair the road before the monsoon.
“The villagers said the local MLA is incompetent and requested me to take up the matter myself with the chief minister,” Phal Dessai later told reporters.
Kavlekar is also making renewed attempts at touching base with Sanguem voters. She spoke about her plans of setting up a Covid care centre in remote Waddem considering the rise of Covid cases there.
Gaonkar, meanwhile, is unperturbed. “I, along with my team, have been on the ground since the cyclone struck, helping clear roads, restoring power and water supply. Due to the power cut, there was no water supply in Waddem, Valankinni Colony 1, 2 and 3, and other parts of my constituency. I engaged private tankers to provide water to the people in these areas,” he said.