Senior Advocate and social worker and now the Aam Aadmi Party's Chief Minister candidate for Goa, meet the 46-year-old Amit Palekar.
Palekar was named AAP chief ministerial candidate for next month's Goa Assembly elections on Wednesday in Panaji by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal. Palekar, who belongs to the Bhandari community in Goa that is also one of the largest voter bases in the coastal state, hails from St Cruz constituency in North Goa. He was recently declared AAP's candidate for the St Cruz seat in Tiswadi taluka.
Although he joined the Arvind Kejriwal-led party in October last year, he came to the limelight in December for holding a hunger strike against the illegal construction at an old heritage site in Old Goa. Palekar undertook a 5-day fast till the Old Goa panchayat revoked alleged illegal permissions granted to the construction though the structure is yet to be demolished.
At that time, Kejriwal had tweeted in support of Palekar and said that he risked his life to save old Goa. "Really proud of you Amit for standing against those who trying to destroy Goa. You are risking your life to save Old Goa. I'll pray for you and thousands of other people who are fighting to save the Old Goa heritage site," Kejriwal tweeted.
Last year, when Goa was grappling with the second wave of Covid-19 resulting in 47 Covid-19 patients deaths in the government-run Goa Medical College (GMC) due to allege oxygen shortage, Palekar was one of the litigants who had approached the Bombay High Court after which the government was forced to intervene. He also donated 135 medical beds to the GMC with the help of the charitable organisations. He also helped the migrant workers during the lockdown.
Recently, he challenged Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane to an open debate on an alleged job recruitments scam at the GMC.
With Palekar being picked as the CM candidate, AAP has played a significant move to woo the numerically strong Bhandari community. The Bhandari community account for about 35 per cent of Goa's population and will play an important role in deciding who will come power in coastal state.
However, it will be interesting to see whether Palekar as CM's candidate will help AAP to get all the crucial votes of Goa's largest community.