Parties yet to finalise the candidates for Mormugao Par by-election

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Panaji, Oct 9 (UNI) All eyes are set on New Delhi where the main BJP and Congress leaderships have to announce respective candidates for the October 30 by-election to Mormugao Parliamentary Constituency in South Goa.

The Goa BJP President Shripad Naik, MP, is scheduled to airdash to New Delhi to submit the list of its candidates with recommendations to the Central Election Board of the party for finalising the name.

The names shortlisted by the BJP include former minister Dr Wilfred Mesquitta and the Party Secretary Narendra Sawalkar. The main architect of the regional outfit Save Goa Front Dr Mesquitta had recently quit the party, along with its Founder Sidhanth Bouyao, following differences with its supremo Churchil Alemao.

He is the first choice of the BJP and if the party high command clears the name, he will be formally admitted into the part before giving the ticket. The BJP opines he will give a stiff fight to the Congress rival in South Goa with strong base for Catholic Christian community.

The BJP has however, ruled out the choice of former minister Mathanhy Saldanha as the latter did not like to contest on the BJP ticket and wanted to retain his UGDP identity.

The BJP continued to confer ''the most favoured'' status on him for his unstinted support to the party in 2004 crisis marked with ouster of Manohar Parrikar Government following defections and his subsequent disqualification.

Meanwhile, the Congress High Command seems to have decided to offer the party ticket to Ms Valanka, advocate daughter of PWD Minister and SGF Chief Churchill Alemao, for the by-election to honour its commitment made before he joined the Digambar Kamat-led Government in August last after deserving the BJP-led Goa Democratic Alliance.

Party sources indicated that she may formally join the party tomorrow in presence of Mr B K Hari Prasad, AICC general secretary in charge of Goa desk, before offering the ticket which had to be announced from New Delhi.

The GPCC President and former Chief Minister and Speaker Francisco Sardinha, who endorsed the party view that the ticket should be given to a senior Congress leader, seems to have been convinced by the party leadership in Delhi during his visit recently along with Chief Minister.

He remained silent with the term of the Lok Sabha was only for 18 months, if not shorter in the current Congress-Left rift over the Indo-US nuclear imbroglio.

The regional parties like the MGP and the UGDP have not yet come out clear as to whether they field their candidates or support a common candidate or remain aloof.

The by-election was caused following resignation of Congress rebel Churchill Alemao in May last to enter state politics by successfully contesting from Navelim segment in June 2 assembly polls as the SGF Chief in a bid to form government.

He bit the dust with his party getting only 2 seats.

Succeeded in bargaining with the Congress through his antics, he deserted the GDA and joined the Kamat-led Government as the PWD Minister.

UNI

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