While Pacheco's planned entry into mining riches ended in disaster, Nilesh Cabral, the Curchorem legislator, owns 13 trucks, four excavators and two barges. Sanguem legislator Subhash Phaldessai (assets:Rs 7,08,41,855) is a mining transport contractor and owns 18 trucks. The Sanvordem legislator Ganesh Gaonkar is a "dealer" in iron ore and also a transport contractor. The Sanquelim legislator Pramod Sawant owns two trucks. All four are BJP legislators.

Everyone knows Mickky's middle name is flamboyance. Which is why Mickky has always been vulnerable to raids like last week, even freezing of his accounts (this time it is 15, a few years ago also his accounts were frozen after Mickky was booked by the CBI in an immigration racket). During the last raid, his mobiles and laptops were seized. This time it is 13 of his 16 swanky cars that include a Hummer. Even Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar said, flippantly, "Mickky is the centre of attraction because he buys big cars."

Target Mickky

Last year, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had reported for the year ending March 31, 2012 (read Lion Roars -28 under Lion Roars 2013) that Mickky had allegedly duped the state-run Economic Development Corporation of Rs. 5,52,00,000 through his company Giovanni and Zibronni Shipping Pvt Ltd. The CAG had said, "We had written to the present government as early as in July 2012 but it has not responded even till February 2013, the time of writing of the report."

So this is one more example of how governments -whether BJP or Congress - are willing to strike but not wound.

Blow hot, blow cold

So raiding him at crucial political moments seems to be the modus operandi. This time it is weeks before the Lok Sabha election.

The fact that he has political clout and the only way to make him amenable is to hit him where it hurts most is something that has been mastered. Mickky has attracted publicity because he is a public figure. "There's nothing big about the raid. If something is found, he would give an explanation," Parrikar said.

Parrikar has been blowing hot and cold. Last August, a police complaint by Mickky claiming extortion and defamation led to the sudden arrest of well-known tiatrist, Francis de Tuem. Parrikar is the home minister.

Asked whether the latest raids were intended to mete out harassment to Mickky who is the Nuvem MLA, Parrikar said "They (the IT department) had conducted an exercise last time on him. This can be a fall out. There was an attempt made to harass him in the past. This may be a continuation of that," the Chief Minister said during his visit to Salcette, including Nuvem where he met Mickky. When Parrikar says "harass" he is alluding to the Congress because the IT department comes under the centre's finance ministry.

Putting the brakes

Mickky was on the verge of merging his party with the Nationalist Congress Party, of which he was a member and even minister, before he branched out and started his own outfit, the Goa Vikas Party. With his Benaulim MLA, Caitu Silva, closer to Parrikar than to his own party (with the Portuguese passport issue dogging him, Caitu has sought the umbrella of Parrikar's protection), Mickky as head of the party was going rogue and he seems to have been brought in line, because he has not mentioned the merger in the last three months.

At a time when the BJP wants to wrest the South Goa seat from the Congress, they do not want Mickky, who has considerable clout, to hitch his wagon to the NCP. Also the Congress does not want it either for the same reason.

Will he or won't he?

In fact, reports are that Congress does not want to give NCP (even if there is an alliance) the North Goa seat. So you have the ludicrous situation of it having Vishnu Wagh, who is the BJP MLA from St Andre, named as the Congress' top contender, even if general secretary of Goa, Digvijay Singh, feigned ignorance of it.

Of course, in Wagh's case, he has done many flip flops on the Lok Sabha elections. While he said last week "I have not made up my mind about contesting the Lok Sabha elections", he has also said that, "I am willing to contest the North Goa seat, but only on a Congress ticket. It's better to be in the opposition than in the ruling BJP because the BJP is giving me no benefit."

After the December 2013 attack on him, allegedly by Tivim BJP legislator Kiran Kandolkar's goons, there has been no action from the government. Instead, recently BJP Goa President Vinay Tendulkar claimed that Vishnu Wagh would remain with the party."These are all rumours which are spread by the media. Earlier, he may have spoken against the party. But now he won't quit the party. He is a loyal MLA of the party." Well, Wagh has answered that at Saturday's (February 22) protest against the government's Medium of Instruction policy. "I am publicly opposing the policy. If the BJP has the guts, it can expel me." Which the BJP will not do and make him a martyr. So will Wagh resign?

Nobility or cowardice?

Vis a vis the South Goa ticket, Divijay Singh got a barrage of requests about fielding a new face. Not the tired old ones who do not excite either the cadres or the voters. Luizinho Faleiro, who orchestrated support earlier to be fielded, has had cold feet. After reading the writing on the wall that the Congress is virtually looking at defeat this summer, he adroitly stepped aside last week pretending his duties as general secretary of the North-east is keeping him busy. He must have figured that with that part of the country more loyal to the Congress, it's better to matter there than come here and battle it out with Churchill Alemao's hostility, sitting MP Francisco Sardinha's sulk not to mention Parrikar's high-voltage campaign on behalf of his guru, Narender Modi.

Churchill too got out of the game and wants his daughter, Valanka, to be considered. Of course Churchill still hopes that Caitu will be disqualified from the Benaulim seat and he can grab it in a by-election. But the last time we looked, Caitu is still the MLA and the case against him has not moved an inch.