The Aam Aadmi Party declared former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as its Goa chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming polls in December last year. The 53-year-old was the inspector general prisons and urban development secretary in Goa before he took voluntary retirement to join politics.
AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described Gomes as a 'real honest officer' who is loved by all sections of the society in Goa. Kejriwal said Gomes understands Goa's culture and is well aware of administration in the state. Gomes is likely to contest elections from Cuncolim constituency in South Goa.
What made Elvis join politics?
His entry into politics did not surprise many in the know since Gomes had been in conflict with the incumbent BJP government in the state for over two years.
Gomes' name was second on the 2014 state list of senior civil service officers to be sent to the Union Public Service Commission for promotion to the Indian Administrative Service. However, Gomes was moved to the 4th position after two junior officers sent representations asking to be moved up.
Gomes moved the Bombay high court bench at Goa against the move and in July last year, the HC upheld his allegation and quashed the change in the list. However, in September last year, the Supreme Court stayed the high court's verdict and is hearing the matter. In the interim, Gomes had resigned from his office. Gomes' resignation was accepted and he was relieved from the Goan Civil Service on September 27.
Around the time he resigned, Goa's anti-corruption bureau filed an FIR against Gomes for alleged irregularities during his stint at the Goa Housing Board. The case surprised many as it was a part of a larger "land scam" under investigation, but which took place when Gomes was not with the board. In fact, even Goa's deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza has gone on record expressing this, stating that Gomes was "politically victimised".
[Also Read: Goa Assembly elections 2017: All you need to know]
Gomes himself has minced no words about how this made him join politics. "I have seen this administration very closely for over 19 years, where I have noticed that lot of injustice has been done to bureaucrats. We have no idea as to whom they wanted to please and why at the cost of people," he said after his induction into AAP. In another statement, he said, "The current state government is completely collapsed with corruption."
The recent events in Goa politics and AAP's entry have made the elections in this small state an interesting affair. Apart from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, other major contenders for the assembly are the AAP, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Suraksha Manch.