Ticket for senior leader for LS bypoll: Sardinha

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Panaji, Sep 24 (UNI) Nailing speculations about giving ticket to PWD Minister Churchil Alemao's daughter advocate Lavanka for contesting by-election to the Mormugao (south Goa) Parliamentary Constituency, GPCC Chief Francisco Sardinha said the party was for a senior Congress leader for the coveted seat.

''It is not a chocolate to offer the seat to Lavanka who is not even a primary member of the Congress. Nobody, leave alone Churchil, President of the Save Goa Front has approached me in this regard,'' Mr Sardinha told mediapersons here today.

The seat fell vacant following resignation of incumbent and Congress rebel Churchil before June 2 elections to the State Legislative Assembly contested on SGF ticket from Navelim.

It might be recalled that Churchil, who led a vituperative campaign against the Congress as the SGF Chief before elections, later joined the Congress-led coalition government headed by Digambar Kamat, quitting the short-lived BJP-led Goa Democratic Alliance, reportedly on the condition that the Congress would offer the ticket to his daughter.

But, Churchil is now facing stiff opposition from within his own SGF party on the issue of ticket to his daughter, as also for diluting the demands of the party even as he proposed to merge the SGF with the Congress.

The GPCC, he said, will take all the senior leaders including Chief Minister Digamar Kamat into confidence and arrive at a consensus on the choice of the candidate before recommending the name to the party high command, whose decision in this regard is final.

He, however, hastened to add that he was ready to contest if the party was in his favour. Incidentally, he was former member of Parliament besides Chief Minister and Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly.

The by-election is expected to be held in November this year and the party expects notification by this month-end.

UNI

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