Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

GPCC chief ‘Blocks’ out Party on choice of candidate

Says only Shiroda Cong Block will call shots on candidate selection

Story: the | goan | 13th January 2019, 01:22 Hrs

MARGAO 

In an interesting development, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar has made it categorically clear that the Shiroda Congress Block, and not the party leaders, will take a call on the Congress candidate for the ensuing by-polls.  

Chodankar’s statement assumes significance and comes against the backdrop of willingness shown by BJP leader and former Shiroda MLA Mahadev Naik to contest the ensuing by-poll on the Congress banner. The GPCC chief’s statement further assumes importance given the fact that Mahadev Naik shares a close rapport with many a Congress leader, including former chief minister and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro.  

Welcoming Mahadev’s statement expressing his willingness to contest the by-poll on the Congress banner, Chodankar said this only goes to show the state of affairs in the ruling BJP and the growing faith and trust people have decided to repose in the Congress party. He, however, asserted that the Shiroda Block and the people of Shiroda will take a call.   

When specifically questioned whether the party leaders will have no say in the selection of candidate for the by-polls, Chodankar replied, “The Block and the people of Shiroda will play a major role in the selection of candidates. The role of the party leaders from outside Shiroda constituency will come at a later stage. The party has decided to accord priority to the Block and the people to decide on the selection of the party candidate. Finally, the Block and the people will have to vote and get elected the Congress candidate. Similar criteria will be adopted for the Mandrem seat.”  

Chodankar’s statement assumes further significance as it is learnt that a section of Congress workers at the Block and the district have strong reservations in nominating the former minister as the Congress candidate. In fact, the South District Committee headed by Joe Dias had constituted a team of five persons to go to Shiroda and seek inputs on the question of party candidate for the by-poll.