Quepem candidate Manuel Colaco fielded by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was on Tuesday replaced with 46-year old tribal activist and practicing advocate John Fernandes.
Fernandes is a founder member and secretary of the Adivasi Sangathan as well as an agriculturist. He’s also participated in the agitation against mining. The new AAP candidate for Quepem is also the president of the cultural organization Niz Kolakar Ambaulim as well as the sports organization United Boys of Ambaulim.
He has authored a book based on cultural heritage of the Gawda (or Gouda) community of Goa titled ‘Goycho Mull Avaz’. Furthermore he also has the experience of being a correspondent for a local daily.
The reason given by Colaco, the former chairperson of the Quepem municipal council was ill health. However he has assured that he would continue working for the party.
The replaced candidate has served as councillor of the Quepem municipal council for six consecutive terms since 1985 and unsuccessfully contested the 2012 elections with a UGDP ticket.
A third manifesto titled Goa Livelihoods Manifesto, was released by the party that promises to send corrupt miners to jail, recover Rs 36,000 crore from the mining mafia and Rs 400 crore relief for the mining dependents.
Promises of creating a mining corridor have also been made by AAP, especially in Quepem-Sanguem, and create a fund from the revenue generated from mining, which will be used for people’s welfare.
The party, its chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes said, is “largely agreeable” to state-run mining, but it needs to be studied first. “Resources belong to everyone,” he said. – TOI