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Cong discusses seat-sharing with ‘alliance’ partners

Hectic bargaining continues in Delhi; candidates may be announced today

12th January 2017, 05:03 Hrs
the goan I network
The three-member committee comprising senior leaders of Congress Central Election Committee of Congress on Wednesday engaged in deliberations over the modalities of seat sharing with alliance partners Goa Forward Party supremo Vijai Sardessai, United Goans Party leader Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate and Nationalist Congress Party president Jose Philip D’Sozua.   
The meeting continued till late on Wednesday night with the four parties bargaining over a formula for sharing of the 40 constituencies.   
Sources from Congress disclosed that the alliance will declare its candidates by Thursday.   
However, it was learnt that Nationalist Congress Party is likely to go to polls in Benaulim and Vasco with Churchill Alemao and NCP Goa president D’Souza as its candidates.   
Monserrate, who recently embarked on his door-to-door campaign in Panaji will contest on UGP ticket. Sources informed that the unattached St Cruz MLA also bargained with the Congress high command for the Cortalim seat. UGP aspirant Ramakant Borkar, however, could make way for Congress candidate Mariano Rodrigues in the constituency.   
Meanwhile, Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte appears to be reluctant to lose his tag of an ‘independent’ and in all probability, could refrain from joining the GFP formally though he is the party’s mentor.   
Independent candidates Govind Gawade from Priol and Hanumant Naik from Marcaim have also been singled out for a backing by the alliance.   
Gawade had contested the 2007 polls from Marcaim on Congress ticket and had admitted defeat to Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar by 7,600 votes. He went on to contest as an independent from Priol in 2012 wherein he tailed Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar by 2,000 votes.   
Hanumant Naik is a former state secretary of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and has previously contested in 2007 from Marcaim securing a few hundred votes as an independent candidate.   
GFP candidates Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Palayekar are expected to contest from Saligao and Siolim respectively.   
Several new frontrunners have also emerged in Congress camp including Santosh Sawant for Mayem, Vithu Morajkar for Pernem, Dayanand Sopte for Mandrem, Vijay Bhike for Mapusa, Seva Dal Chief Shankar Kirlapalkar in Sanvordem and Dharmesh Saglani from Sankhali. 

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