January 18, 2022 11:57:32 pm
The Goa Trinamool Congress declared its first list of election candidates on Tuesday, announcing 11 names. The list includes seven-time MLA Luizinho Faleiro, who is contesting from Fatorda instead of his traditional seat of Navelim.
Faleiro, former state CM and now Rajya Sabha MP, was Goa’s first sitting MLA to resign from the Congress and join the TMC in September 2021. The TMC subsequently nominated him to the Rajya Sabha. Fatorda, where he has been fielded from, is the stronghold of Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai. Sardesai, who was earlier in talks with TMC but later entered a pre-poll alliance with the Congress.
Benaulim heavyweight Churchill Alemao, five-time MLA who won the 2017 polls on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket, will contest from his bastion on a TMC ticket. His daughter and political heir Valanka Alemao has been named the TMC’s candidate from Navelim, Faleiro’s erstwhile seat.
Former BJP MLA and former working president of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) Kiran Kandolkar was named the TMC candidate from the Aldona assembly constituency in North Goa.
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Kandolkar has also been named President of the 69-member TMC state committee, which the party announced four months after it entered Goa’s political arena. The party named nine vice presidents, including actor Nafisa Ali, and 12 general secretaries. It also announced an 11-member Goa Trinamool Youth Congress Committee and a 13-member Goa Trinamool Mahila Congress Committee.
The BJP is expected to declare the names of its election candidates in Goa on Wednesday. Goa BJP president Sadanand Tanavade Tuesday said the party will contest all 40 seats in the state for the first time. “Earlier we have contested 37-38 seats, but for the first time, we will be contesting all 40, including Benaulim,” Tanavade told reporters.
The party will have to put to rest the issue around the election ticket from Panaji, for which it has to choose between late Defence minister and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal Parrikar and the incumbent Atanasio Monserrate, who was one of the 10 Congress defectors to join the BJP in 2019.
Goa health minister and BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane had earlier said he would contest the Poriem seat against his father Pratap Singh Rane, undefeated Congress MLA for the last 45 years, if he did not withdraw his candidature. But he is also likely to contest from his own seat of Valpoi. If junior Rane backs out of Poriem, it will then throw up the question of whether or not his father, the six-time former CM, will contest the polls on February 14. The Congress has already declared him its election candidate from Poriem, leaving the decision to contest or not to the senior Rane.
Meanwhile, after announcing the Aam Aadmi Party’s chief minister candidate in Punjab, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal arrived in Goa on Tuesday evening. He is set to announce the party’s CM candidate in Goa on Wednesday.
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