Panaji, Oct 17 (UNI) The October 31 byelection to the prestigious Mormugao Parliamentary Constituency in South Goa witnesses a direct fight between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP.
With none withdrawing their papers on the last day today, four candidates including two independents were in the fray.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Francisco Sardinha tries to retain the seat against his BJP rival Dr.Wilfred Mesquita besides two independents - Hamza Khan and Jawahar Dias.
The seat fell vacant following resignation of the Congress rebel Churchill Alemao in May last to contest successfully from Navelim assembly constituency in June 2 elections to the state legislative assembly on the Save Goa Front ticket to enter state politics.
He finally joined the Digambar Kamat-led coalition government in Goa after deserting the BJP-led Goa Democratic Alliance on the assurance that the Congress would offer the ticket to Mormugao to his advocate daughter Ms.Valanka.
But, the party preferred its senior leader, former chief minister, speaker and GPCC president Francisco Sardinha with Churchil failing to merge the regional outfit SGF he was heading with the Congress.
Dr Mesqueta, who was till recently general secretary of the SGF, and its founder president Sidhanath Bouyao resigned from the party in protest against the ''antics'' of Churchil who was trying to benefit his family at the cost of the party idealogy and committments.
Both were admitted to the BJP and the former was given the party ticket as he represents catholic community which dominates in south Goa. Dr.Mesquita was formerly a minister with a clean record besides being a famous gynaecologist.