Updated: January 18, 2022 11:58:27 pm
The Congress Central Election Committee on Tuesday issued its third and fourth list of Goa Assembly election candidates declaring Micheal Lobo, former BJP minister who joined the party last week, as its candidate from the Calangute Assembly constituency.
Among the nine names that the party declared in its third list, notable is Prasad Gaonkar, an independent MLA, who had first pledged support to the TMC but later joined the Congress and former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Lavoo Mamledar, who recently quit the TMC to join the Congress.
However, the Congress’s declaration of candidates from two seats that its pre-poll ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) had laid claim to, did go well with the Vijai Sardesai-led regional ally. GFP vice president Dilip Prabhudesai said that it was “unfortunate” that the Congress had declared candidates from St Andre in North Goa and Cancona from South Goa.
“Our demands have been modest and reasonable. We have only demanded seats in constituencies where we have influence and our candidates have worked on the ground. What is required in an alliance is common programme and fidelity to our commitments to each other. Congress has backtracked on their commitments on St Andre and Cancona but we do not wish to react immediately. We will watch whatever steps they take and we will react and take appropriate steps as the days go by,” Prabhudesai said, adding, “We will wait and watch…we have expressed our disappointment and that’s all we are doing.”
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The Congress’s announcement of Anthony Rodrigues as its candidate from St Andre constituency, however, disappointed GFP aspirant Jagdish Bhobe, who had already started campaigning in the constituency. He tendered his resignation on Tuesday evening and hours later joined the TMC. He was named in the Goa Trinamool Congress’s first list of election candidates. He will now contest the St Andre seat on a TMC ticket.
Congress legislative party chief Digambar Kamat said, “Whatever the commitment with GFP is, is under discussion between the Congress and the GFP.”
While Lobo will contest from Calangute, from where he has been elected thrice, Gaonkar who won the Sanguem seat as an independent in 2017 will now contest the seat on a Congress ticket.
Expected to face Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his constituency of Sanquelim once again, is Congress candidate Dharmesh Saglani, who Sawant had defeated in 2017 by a margin of 2,099 votes.
Lavoo Mamledar, a former police officer and former MGP MLA from Ponda, is expected to face senior MGP leader and the party’s lone MLA in the outgoing Assembly Ramkrishna alias Sudin Dhavalikar, a seven-time MLA and former deputy chief minister.
Later on Tuesday, the Congress issued its fourth list announcing two more names of candidates from Nuvem and Velim Assembly constituencies.
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