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‘In politics, all you need is good work’

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He may have spent a miserly 3 lakh on his electoral campaign but Fr Bismarque Dias collected close to 2000 votes. He didn’t have any office, made no inducements, yet left several politicians hanging their heads in shame. Marcus Mergulhao has the story.

Bismarque Dias
Fr Bismarque Dias

Fr Bismarque Dias finished third from the Cumbharjua constituency in the recently concluded polls, but his tally of close to 2,000 votes – 1,996 to be precise- was more than several seasoned politicians including one former chief minister, two former ministers, two ex-MLAs and three official nominees of the ruling Congress.

It’s a statistic that left many political observers dumbfounded but not Bismarque who personally believed he could have garnered at least 5,000 votes.

“Electoral politics doesn’t mean much to me so the final result wouldn’t count much. I am extremely happy that there are 2,000 pure and uncorrupt voters in my constituency alone, but most of all I am happy that a change has been ushered. This change is our hope,” said Bismarque, who led in five booths across the constituency and picked up two-thirds of the votes in his home village of St Estevam.

Unlike other candidates whose fate was sealed in electronic voting machines, Bismarque was not among those who made their way to the counting centre. In fact, he simply chose to stay at home and continue with the work that has now possibly made him a household name not just in Cumbharjua- where he campaigned, sorry, created awareness- but also the state.

“There is now a tsunami of hope and fresh air for the land of Goa. The BJP has got a clear mandate and they should deliver. With 18 fresh faces in the assembly, this is the start of something new,” he told TOI at his double-storied St Estevam residence on Wednesday.

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Bismarque spent a miserly 3 lakh on his electoral campaign and picked close to 2,000 votes. He didn’t have any office, made no inducements, yet left several politicians hanging their heads in shame.

“I could probably teach the politicians a thing or two,” he laughs, before continuing, “In politics, you do not need either money or muscle. All that you need is good work. Your work gives you the power.”

Before Goa goes to polls again, probably in five years time, Bismarque wishes to train Goan youth leaders who could then stand up and prove equal to the task. He is already in demand as dramatized by the visit of students graduating in “leadership program of politics” from a reputed university in Pune.

During the course of his campaign, Fr Bismarque received extensive support. Several made monetary contributions, offered moral support, but it was a gesture of a taxi union from Salcete who contributed 38,000 that struck a chord. It meant there was hope for good guys in electoral politics and the 2,000 votes that he eventually polled would remain hugely significant.

Electorally, Fr Bismarque may have been defeated. But victory in defeat has never seemed so apt.

Source: articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 8 March 2012

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