Local Goa News

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mahagatbandhan divides Congress

Panaji: With around six months left before the poll bugle blows, all does not seem well in the Congress state unit, with party differences coming out in the open, very often with embarrassing results. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik, a veteran leader, on Monday recommended a secular alliance for the 2017 state assembly elections, but the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) ridiculed his opinion on the grounds that Naik was "unwell".

"The GPCC president has no right to decide whether the Congress will have an alliance or not for the 2017 polls, the Pradesh Congress Committee will take that decision. I feel that all secular political parties and forces should unite and form a grand alliance to combat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2017 state assembly elections," Naik told reporters, at Panaji.
Naik's statements were denounced by GPCC vice president Moti Dessai, a close aide of GPCC president Luizinho Faleiro, at a press conference, in the evening.
"Shantaram must not be taken seriously. He is unwell, believe me, and should not be taken seriously," Dessai said, and added that it was up to Naik to decide whether he should resign from his Rajya Sabha seat.
It was made further clear that the Congress was running confused when Dessai said that GPCC had decided against an alliance while GPCC general secretary and spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar said, "Any decision on a grand alliance will be taken by the Congress high command."
Differences also appear to be widening within the party. Evidence of sparks flying between Faleiro's loyalists and opposition leader Pratapsingh Rane were seen when Kawthankar subtly chose to counter Rane's praise for the free LED bulb distribution scheme.
Congress has begun the process to select prospective candidates for the 2017 elections. District committees have been asked to send the names to the Pradesh election committee by August 31. These names will then be sent to the All India Congress committee by September 30.

TOI Goa News

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