The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has declared Elvis Gomes, a former bureaucrat, as its chief ministerial candidate in Goa.
Goa is the second state after Delhi where the AAP has declared its chief ministerial choice before the elections. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal made this announcement on Monday during a rally at Cuncolim in south Goa.
Gomes was inducted into the party by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on 5 October.
Who is Elvis Gomes?
The 53-year-old Indian Police Service (IPS) officer had taken voluntary retirement to join AAP. He is currently, the elected President of Goa Football Association.
Gomes was IG Prisons and Urban Development Secretary when he quit service. Previously, he has served as director of Municipal Administration and Tourism, chairperson of Goa Housing Board, commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Panjim, and Captain of Ports.
— Elvis Gomes (@ielvisgomes) December 19, 2016
Why is Gomes the CM face of AAP?
The main challenge for AAP is to tackle the ‘outsider tag’. Goa is already conscious about its shrinking ‘native’ numbers. People of the state are also worried over emotive issues like identity, migration, shifting land ownership for “outsiders”.
With Elvis in the bigger picture, AAP has high chances of tackling these issues since he understands Goa and its culture.
While addressing a rally in Goa, Kejriwal said: “Elvis understands Goa, its culture. He resigned because he wanted to serve all of you. Elvis could’ve made money as an officer. But he didn’t take a single rupee as a bribe.”
The AAP will also try to play the ‘victim card’ against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state since Gomes was allegedly framed in a case of irregularities during his stint at the Goa Housing Board (GHB).
After Gomes resigned, Goa’s anti-corruption bureau filed a FIR against him for alleged irregularities while he was at the GHB. The case surprised many as it was a part of a larger land scam under investigation which took place when Gomes was not with the board.
Even Goa deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza at that time had expressed that Gomes was politically victimised.