In a run-up to the state polls, Goa’s AAP unit has unanimously referred to the party high-command the name of Dr. Oscar Rebello as the Chief Ministerial candidate set-up by the party for 2017 polls.
However, according to the party sources – the 48-year old M.D in Medicine has reportedly shown reluctance to take up the role, but the party hierarchy including AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal and National Secretary Pankaj Gupta (In-charge of Goa) are bent upon motivating him to take up the lead.
During recent interaction with the media, Rebello clarified that he himself would prefer to continue as a volunteer for the party instead of polls as it would be difficult for him to balance along with his medical practice and family. But the state cadre has projected him as the most credible, upright and preferred candidate across the supporters of 40 constituencies in the state. “He is our best chance in the polls, Dr. Rebello has been one of the earliest members of AAP in the state, he has clarity of thoughts and most popular face, it would be nice if he leads the poll as the CM candidate,” AAP Goa Secretary, Valmiki Naik says.
AAP sources say that what caught ‘most’ attention of Rebello to the AAP leadership including Chief Arvind Kejriwal was the mass mobilization capacity of the Goa based leader.
Rebello’s first shot to fame in 2006-2007 as the (former) convenor of Goa Bachao Abhiyan opposing the state government’s new Regional Plan (RP) – that proposed to convert substantial forest cover in the state to developmental areas. “He was quite charismatic leader, eventually about 15,000 people joined the campaign against the state government continuously for over three years. Eventually, the then Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane not only scrapped the RP and went back on the cabinet decision, but it also led to the resignation of then Minister for Town and Country Planning Babush Atanasio Monserrate,” an AAP leader said. Until now, Rebello did not have any political affiliation and he has a ‘Mr. Clean’ tag associated with himself, which only strengthened his resume as the AAP CM candidate, AAP affiliates added.
However, among the first list of four-candidates released by AAP Goa Unit contesting polls – the name of the 48-year old General Physician did not figure out. When The Indian Express tried to contact Rebello for his comments, his phone was switched-off and was later informed that he was out of station at the moment.