Goa’s youngest MLA, Viresh Borkar appeals to youth to join politics to make a change

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For most 28-year olds, the 20s are a period of high energy, big dreams, and paving career paths. In Neura, a 28-year old, inspired by his grandfather, a freedom fighter, harbored the dream to give back to Goa, along with two of his friends. Now, after many months of campaigning, fighting against odds, later, the youngest MLA of the St Andre constituency, Viresh Borkar, the sole Revolutionary Goans representative is ready to walk his way to the coveted seat inside the Assembly.
As a youth representative at the Assembly, Viresh says, “It feels good that youngsters have come up to save Goa and we are proud to have our first win. We can now voice our concerns in the Assembly.”
It’s no easy feat for the first time MLA, going against big guns like Francisco Silveira. With his first Assembly beginning on 29th March, Borkar explains that he’s been in talks with mentors about the proceedings. He humbly admits that it’s a learning curve. “I’ve just started,” he confesses. “I have tried to study and will improve myself in forthcoming sessions. I will seek guidance from the elders and work with fresh ideas,” he says.
Concerned about the various issues plaguing his constituency, Viresh says it’s been severely neglected by the past ruling MLA for 20 years. “The work hasn’t been up to the mark and people have a lot of expectations from me. There are basic issues like road, water, transport, the fishing community, toilets are not being provided, and unemployment,” he says. Another burning issue that he’s already started work on is the Khazan lands. “We will try to revive smaller sectors through developmental programs and we are in the process of researching other States. We aim to make it a model constituency,” he says.
In the face of big money, the youth who left their jobs, and struggled to meet the financial strains of a big Indian election, secured a third majority vote share in the election. What worked are awareness programs, he tells. “We held these programs in villages and guided locals on various topics. We are hoping in the times to come, people will be more aware and we can ensure that tax payer’s money isn’t being wasted.” He admits that time was short and they couldn’t reach out to more people.
As a next-generation MLA, Borkar strongly affirms the power of youth. “Younger generation has to take up politics as they are the future of Goa. We are supporting youngsters so that they come forward.” He laughs at his critics who demotivated them to stop their fight. “With the seniors already there, we didn’t have a chance, they told us.”
On the subject of his critics, former Silveira recently blamed the ‘Londonkars for his loss.’ Now it’s Viresh who laughs. “He is blaming himself. MLAs like him don’t consider them Goan but Londonkars. But they are from our constituency and moved out due to unemployment. If we can prove that we can provide employment opportunities in Goa, they will return. They work hard abroad. We have to develop the economy here so that they can work in Goa.”
While they may have dismissed him as young blood, Viresh is serious about making a difference. “We had a zeal and proved that it can be done. I appeal to the youth to come forward and work at it. If you sit at home and say ‘all politicians are corrupt’ nothing will change. We have to enter to clean up politics and make it what we want.”
With RG winning a seat, they have opened the stage for more youth participation. “Earlier youth was nowhere and now we have shown it can be done. This is the biggest achievement for Goa. Starting from the grassroots, youth should stand for panchayat elections and at all levels. We have to stop the blame game and try to improve the situation,” says the determined politician.
His journey is just starting, time will speak of his achievement in the political sphere. But for now, he’s inspired a generation to get into the murky waters of Goan politics.

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