Panaji: Hounded by
creditors, a Trinamool Congress candidate who borrowed money to
fund his campaign in the recently concluded Goa assembly elections
is now in hiding as he fears being beaten up by recovery agents.
Kanta Sabaji Jadhav, 37, the Trinamool's candidate from the Pernem
constituency in northern Goa, 40 km from here, has been hiding in
a pay-per-bunk-per-day lodge in Panaji, waiting for the party to
pay him the money he claims was promised as election expenses.
"I have not been able to go home at Korgao (also in Pernem
constituency) since the elections (on March 3). I had purchased
food, snacks and other things during elections on loan because the
party had promised to pay for my campaign expenses," Jadhav, a
garden contractor by profession, told IANS.
Details of the affidavit Jadhav had filed with the chief electoral
officer indicate that he was one of the most economically backward
candidates in this Goa election, peppered with high-spending
In his affidavit, Jadhav has listed total assets worth Rs.35,500
and liabilities of Rs.28,500, in the form of a loan from the Goa
Khadi and Village Industries Board.
Amongst his creditors are the owner of a small hotel, where his
workers were provided with food and refreshments, and a car-hire
operator. And going back is impossible as they are threatening and
badgering him for their money.
"I have absolutely no money to pay them. I owe them Rs.2 lakh
plus. They are threatening to beat me up now. When I was given a
ticket I was told that the Trinamool Congress was a national party
and would pay for the expenses which I incur during the campaign,"
said Jadhav, who has studied only up to Class 8.
"Now I keep contacting the party office asking them to pay my
creditors. They can verify the accounts and pay, but no one is
listening. I even contacted the state party president," he said.
Unfortunately, the effort was in vain.
As one of the nine candidates from the Pernem consituecy reserved
for Scheduled Caste candidates, Jadhav polled only 151 votes,
which was 0.58 percent of the total vote share. The seat went to
the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rajendra Arlekar who got 16,406
votes and a vote share of 63.37 percent.
The party is clearly not interested in its losing candidate
Wilfred de Souza, the Goa state president of Mamata Banerjee's
party, denied making any promise to Jadhav.
"I have never promised to pay any money; neither has the party
unit here," de Souza said.
"The party cannot assure anyone of giving them money for
elections. It is against the law," said de Souza, a former chief
He added that he was aware that Jadhav was a "poor fellow" and
would try to help him out.
Trinamool leader Maria Fernandes, who was overseeing the campaign
in Goa, agreed and said Jadhav was fabricating stories.
"There is nothing like that... he is making up stories. He didn't
have any people with him for campaigning. He could not do any
work. Mamata Banerjee's party does not believe in corruption,"
Fernandes told IANS over phone from Kolkata.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at email@example.com)