Fatorda: July 24: According to information received by IndiaScoops.com via email, Fatorda-based Goa fish mafia kingpin Maulana Ibrahim actively campaigned for the Goa Forward Party during the 2017 Assembly elections and was part of the election core team of the GFP. He also funded the election expenses of the GFP in cash to a large extent, during the cash crunch caused due to demonetization.
We tried to contact Maulana Ibrahim for his comments but he was not reachable. We welcome him to contact us and give us his clarification on this post. We will update this post as and when we receive any further inputs.
A reader has also sent us a photograph of Maulana Ibrahim along with GFP boss Vijai Sardesai campaigning door-to-door for the GFP party during the 2017 polls. We are trying to verify the authenticity of the image, but never-the-less thought it worthy to share the unverified image with our readers. The image has already gone viral on social media.
If one remembers, Feb 2017 was the time of demonetization and citizens were allowed to withdraw only Rs 2000 in cash each day. There was an embargo on cash withdrawals and deposits and people stood in long queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
In 2017, the GFP was a new party and was fighting elections for the first time in Goa. The cash crunch broke the back of the GFP, as senior party workers were not able to even withdraw their own money in bank accounts to pay for fuel and food.
The Goa Congress was giving the GFP a very tough time and though they had agreed to have a seat sharing arrangement in 2-3 constituencies, then GPCC boss Luizinho Faleiro went back on his word and fielded candidates against GFP at the last minute.
A reader informs IndiaScoops.com as follows:
In January 2017, during the assembly elections, when GFP boss Vijai Sardesai was left high and dry at the last minute by Congress chief Luizinho Faleiro, his old friend Maulana Ibrahim along with other fish importers came to his rescue and bailed him out with a ‘cash donation of Rs 50 to Rs 75 lakh’.
Sardesai was stumped. He was expecting strong Congress support in the three constituencies of Siolim, Saligao and Fatorda. Short of cash to fight elections in 3-4 constituencies at the last minute against the cash-rich BJP and Congress, he had no recourse but to turn to “old friends”. This is when Maulana Ibrahim came to his rescue and bailed him out.
At this point of time, a reader points out, Maulana Ibrahim came to the rescue of the Goa Forward Party with a cash “loan” of Rs 50 lakh. Since his fish transport business deals in cash, he had truckloads of it stashed away and it was not difficult for him with his huge staff and multiple business accounts to convert old notes into new currency, our reader tells us via email.
Maulana Ibrahim donated more than Rs 50 lakh at a very crucial juncture, thus permanently indebting Vijai Sardesai, whose party could not even pay their workers petrol money due to demonetization, as new currency was not available, claims our reader, who has gone to the extent of alleging that almost 70 per cent of all party expenses at that time were borne by Ibrahim and his group. Without Ibrahim’s help, Sardesai was totally crippled.
Today, Ibrahim is in partnership with Vijai or his family members in real estate and transportation, our reader informs us.
Another source tells IndiaScoops.com that Ibrahim must have sponsored over Rs 75 lakh for Sardesai’s election expenses between December and February 2017. We are unable to independently verify these allegations and have published them as received from our readers.
We welcome GFP boss Vijai Sardesai to give us his inputs on these allegations. The post will be updated when we receive any inputs of either party.
A reader has sent us an email with the above information. At the outset we would like to state that we are currently trying to verify and confirm this information and for now this post is based solely on unverified information provided by a reader and various other Facebook posts. We welcome any further details on this subject. The sender’s identity will be kept secret.
IndiaScoops.com welcomes inputs from viewers and readers on this subject. Please feel free to share your thoughts comments on our email id mail.indiascoops AT gmail.com.
Meanwhile, Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao said the wholesale fish market association in Fatorda should be handed over to Goans, reports Times of India.
“If we remove migrants and (the fish) mafia out of the market, there won’t be a need to conduct checks, and people will get good fish,” the lone NCP legislator said.
Firing off names of sea fish that eat other fish, Alemao said a similar situation exists at the wholesale market with Maulana Ibrahim and the like. “If we eat formalin-laced fish, we will get cancer,” Alemao said. “The government should initiate an inquiry into the issue.”
He stressed on the need to take action to stop the sale of fish with formalin. “I have lived for 60 years, but if we don’t take action (on formalin in fish), future generations won’t even live for 30 years,” he said.
Alemao said the association at the wholesale fish market doesn’t allow locally caught fish in the market. “At midnight, trucks enter the market and our good fish is purchased and exported,” he alleged. The former CM added that the fisheries deparment doesn’t have statistics about the fish catch in the state, and how much of it is exported. He said that around 2,000 containers of about 25 tonnes each have been exported, and this includes 500 containers of mackerel, reports Times of India.
Alemao said that while fruits are being treated with chemicals and that meat too is contaminated, Goans trusted in their fish, reports Times of India.
“But with the formalin issue, even this trust is gone,” he said.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as new inputs come in. We welcome any further details on this subject. The sender’s identity will be kept completely secret. You can email us on mail.indiascoops AT gmail.com