After failing to form the government in Goa despite emerging as the single largest party in the assembly polls, the Congress is now planning to field a “consensus candidate” of the non-BJP parties for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in the state. Talking to PTI, All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar Thursday said, “We will be fielding a candidate, who will be acceptable to all the parties. When I say that I mean all the non-BJP parties.”
Goa has the lone Rajya Sabha seat, which is currently represented by Congress leader Shantaram Naik. The election to the RS seat would be held on June 8.
Chodankar said, “Congress will field a consensus candidate, who will be acceptable to all the parties, including the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and other independents, who are part of the Manohar Parrikar-led state government.
The Congress leader said, “The upcoming RS election will be fought cutting across the party lines with the sole aim to have a non-BJP candidate winning it.”
When contacted, BJP Goa general secretary Sadanand Tanawade said his party was yet to decide the candidate, but it would be a choice of all the parties, which support the Parrikar-led government. “We will meet tomorrow to finalise the name of the candidate for the RS polls,” Tanawade said, adding, “Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will take a call on this. The candidate that BJP will field will have support of all the coalition partners”.
Goa Forward Party’s mentor Vijai Sardesai was unavailable for comment, but a senior party functionary said that they were yet to take decision on the RS poll. “Ideally, we will go with the ruling government as we are part of it,” he said.