After days of infighting and late night meetings over the possibility of an alliance with ‘like-minded’ parties – United Goans, Goa Forward and the NCP – the Congress Party has declared its first list of candidates comprising 27 candidates and an alliance between these parties is almost certain.
From the list declared, it appears that the alliance with former Congress MLA Babush Monserrate (United Goans) and the Goa Forward Party was certain, however the list features two seats and talks between the Congress high command and the state parties are underway.
Babush (Atanasio) had demanded that if an alliance were to happen, the Congress Party should not contest from the Panaji seat (where he will contest under the United Goans ticket) and that the party provide tickets to his aides in Taleigao, St Cruz and St Andre. The list features two of Babush’s candidates – Francisco Silveira in St Andre and Babush’s wife Jennifer Monserrate in Taleigao. His other demand that Cortalim be given to Ramakant Borkar seems to have been rejected by the Congress Party as it has fielded Gilbert Rodrigues. The seat of St Cruz does not feature in the first list.
Sardesai, on his part, demanded four seats – Fatorda, Siolim, Saligao and Velim. Three of these seats do not feature in the Congress Party’s list, while it has declared a candidate for the Velim seat (the party had indicated its reluctance to give up this seat). Sources in Goa Forward party told The Indian Express that talks between Sardesai and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were still underway and a decision on the Velim seat was expected soon. “We have already begun campaigning in Velim, voter-cards have been issued. How can we withdraw now?”
The NCP’s demand to contest from Vasco where Jose Philip D’Souza will be fielded and Benaulim where former minister Churchill Alemao will be the candidate seems to have been accepted by the Congress high command.
Here is the first list as declared by the Congress Party
St Andre-Francisco Silveira
Dabolim-Francisco Jose Nunes
Curtorim-Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco
Velim-Filipe Neri Rodrigues