August 26, 2021 2:41:21 am
On a two-day visit to Goa, former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday held meetings with party MLAs, leaders and Congress workers to chalk out the party’s strategy ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled early next year.
Chidambaram was earlier this month appointed senior AICC election observer to Goa to oversee poll strategies and coordination.
Among senior Congress leaders who met Chidambaram at the International Centre Goa at Dona Paula on Wednesday were former Union minister Ramakant Khalap and former Goa chief ministers Pratap Singh Rane and Ravi Naik.
Congress workers from Calangute Assembly constituency are learnt to have said that the party should not allow incumbent BJP MLA Micheal Lobo, also the state ports minister, to contest on a Congress ticket. Senior leaders, however, said talk of Lobo joining the Congress was a ‘rumour’.
AICC observer Prakash Rathod said he was not aware if Lobo had shown interest in joining the party. “The Congress is very powerful and popular (in Goa). There is a lot of competition (for Congress tickets). We will handle it,” Rathod said.
While Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai had said on July 28 that the Congress had in-principle agreed for an alliance with his party, Congress leaders had maintained that a decision on forging a pre-poll alliance had not been taken as yet.
On Wednesday, Rathod said, “The question of alliance will be decided in Delhi, and not here. We are strategising, preparing our booth-level workers, our block-level workers.”
After his discussion with Chidambaram, Khalap said, “Nothing can remain static. Change is the only constant…” He said that the output of the meetings held Wednesday will follow soon.
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