Goa Poll Campaign Reminded Me Of My First Election Outing In 1984: Chidambaram

Panaji:  Despite losing the February 14 Assembly polls in Goa, the election campaign was as exhilarating as his first election he had ever contested in 1984, former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said on Monday.

Speaking at the installation ceremony of the party’s new state president Amit Patkar, the 76-year-old Congress leader, who was the party’s senior observer for the Goa Assembly polls, also said that the way the verdict rolled out in March showed that little had changed in Goa despite the heavily charged polls, which saw the BJP emerge as the single largest party.

“Last eight-nine months have been an unforgettable experience in my life. I didn’t expect to get this opportunity at this stage of my life. But I enjoyed it as much as when I contested my first election in 1984,” Chidambaram said at the function.

“The first nine months of 1984 were exhilarating. The last nine months have been equally exhilarating and I thank you all for your cooperation, love and affection,” the former Union Minister said.

Chidambaram was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu in 1988.

Chidambaram also said that the Congress accepted the verdict by the people of Goa, but added that little had changed in Goa’s political landscape, as far as the ruling government was concerned.

“Sixty-seven per cent of the voting population voted against the BJP. They voted for change. But those who voted for continuity, voted with a single-minded purpose. Those who voted for change, voted for different parties. Which is why although 67 per cent wanted a change, today you wake up and what do you find, that there’s been no change at all,” Chidambaram said.

“It is like the same actors, same characters staging a different play. In fact, even the pictures don’t change, as the same faces are enjoying the same portfolios. But ask yourself one question. Is this the government which is going to bring about a change in Goa,” he asked.