Francisco Pacheco more known with the name of Mickky across Goa who has always been known as a colourful personality in terms of his attire, lifestyle and love for luxury cars and a Hummer! Pacheco entered Goan politics by defeating stalwarts such as Churchill Alemao and veteran politician Aleixio Sequeira.
“I am working day and night to get Goa Congress into power in 2022”
Politics of Goa is going through a complex phase where the BJP is believed to be losing out on the ground to the Congress and Congress is losing ground to APP, and then to multiple small parties and independent political personalities are maneuvering their ways. In this situation, National Political Mirror’s Chief Editor Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo speaks to senior Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Francisco Pacheco. He is more known with the name of Mickky across Goa who has always been known as a colourful personality in terms of his attire, lifestyle and love for luxury cars and a Hummer! Pacheco entered Goan politics by defeating stalwarts such as Churchill Alemao and veteran politician Aleixio Sequeira. Excerpts:
National Political Mirror: How do you see your political journey so far?
Mickky Pacheco: I started by defeating former Chief Minister of Goa Churchill Alemao in the 2002 assembly election when I was in United Goans Democratic Party and became Tourism Minister. Then in 2004, I played a key role in removing the BJP-led government and came out of the coalition with five more MLAs from the BJP and formed a Congress Government.
In 2004 I became the agriculture minister and in 2007 I was again appointed as Tourism Minister under Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) quota. In 2010, I was forced to quit as minister because I was implicated by the CBI and Income Tax Department although they couldn’t find anything against me later.
Then from Nuvem constituency I defeated a Congress candidate who was the serving Power Minister and I supported BJP as the mood of the entire Goa was against the Congress. I became Rural Development Minister and held a couple of more portfolios. Then one case came up against me that I was convicted for assaulting (slapping) a government (Junior Engineer) official and again it was politically motivated. In 2017, for the first time in my political history, I could not get elected.
NPM: What is the key reason to rejoin the Congress?
MP: People across India are not happy with the BJP government in the Centre. Same is the case in Goa. They have begun to realise the value of the Congress. So, this is the prime reason for me to return to my home (Congress). My family has always been associated with the Congress for the last few years. We are just wary about the people in the Congress who are misleading the high command and the Gandhi family.
NPM: How do you assess the situation of Congress in Goa at present?
MP: People like Congress and if the Goa Congress unit works as a team, victory is assured. The party has suffered a lot due to in-fighting. And this is a pan India issue for the Congress party. I will speak to the senior leadership of the party whenever they come down to Goa.
Few here in Goa unit try to mislead the central leadership. If someone is doing something great for the party, then they are sidelined by those who don’t want better things to be done. At times I feel that they are working for the BJP. The youth wants to join the Congress. People have problems; they look up to the Congress but they are equally unhappy with some leaders in the party.
NPM: What's Congress strategy for next Goa assembly polls?
MP: See, there has been a lot of activity in the past one month. AICC election observer P Chidambaram and desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao are camped in Goa and they are holding meetings with party workers and understanding the ground situation. But I see that even they are being misguided by some top Goa Congress leaders who haven’t done anything for Goa Congress till date.
NPM: What’s your strategy for 2022?
MP: I am working day and night to get the party into power in 2022. I am not looking for any position. I was running my own party and a low position is against my dignity. I would like to thank the Congress high command for they have given me a freehand to bring right people into the party. Some in Goa Congress believe that if I’m given the charge of the party in the state then I might hijack the party. I would like to request the high command that they must give a chance to the younger generation to lead the party.
NPM: What’s your message to the senior leaders?
MP: P Chidambaram and Dinesh Gundu Rao are seriously working for the party but local leaders are filling their ears which is a bad sign. Senior leaders who come from Delhi should understand the ground situation and stop listening to certain leaders here. It's good that they should listen to the young leaders and allow them to work for the party.
NPM: How many assembly seats are expected in next polls?
MP: I have a strong hold across
Goa and not just South. My only request to the high command is to give me free hands instead of any key position in the party. I myself will contest from Benaulim seat to get the Congress back to rule and I have committed this to the Gandhi family. We are only looking at the magic numbers as of now which is 21 in the assembly of 40.