Local Goa News

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Congress opens doors to those who’ve left party and suspended

PANJIM: Minutes after announcing that a person’s image and loyalty towards the party would be the prime criteria for selection of candidates for 2017 polls, Congress, on Wednesday indirectly opened its doors to dissidents, including former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, booked in the Louis Berger bribery case.
The party expressed its wish to merge with its former ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and also said it would welcome Independent MLA Vijai Sardesai in the party, but refused any grand alliance.
“I would like to give a call to all those who have left the party or been suspended from the party to come and join back,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Goa desk in charge Digvijay Singh said on Wednesday.
“In case of Alemao, he has been charge sheeted. I have asked the party leaders to ensure that the charges against him are settled as soon as possible. If his cases are settled then we can think of taking him but the final decision would depend on party national president and high command,” Singh said, paving the way for Alemao and his family reentry into the Congress.
Alemao, who was arrested and imprisoned in the Louis Berger case, is currently out on bail. He has been named as one of the prime accused in the multi-crore scam.
The former MLA had left the party in 2014 after he was refused a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections. He had contested on a Trinamool Congress ticket and lost.
Alemao and his family members, including daughter Valanka, brother and former Minister Joaquim and his son Yuri, had faced humiliating defeats in the 2012 Assembly elections. Joaquim was also suspended for anti-party activities and is booked in an illegal mining scam.
The Congress statement could also hint at welcoming back St Cruz MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, accused of raping a minor.
“Congress party always entertains new, young faces. We have eight MLAs and we have to search for candidates in 32 seats. We have to look for new faces,” Singh said refusing to state what percentage of tickets would be shared with youths.
“Our candidates would be strictly chosen based on the competence, image, win-ability and loyalty towards the party,” he said.

Herald Goa News

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