Goa polls: Cong's first list of candidates sparks rebellion

Congress campaign
Panaji, Feb 7: Two days after the first list of candidates was announced, the Congress in Goa is facing rebellion within the party as the aspirants who were denied tickets have decided to part ways with the organisation.

Sameer Salgaoncar, Congress leader and son of independent legislator Anil Salgaoncar was the first one to quit the party as he was refused ticket in Mandrem constituency where Congress fielded Dayanand Sopte, a former BJP MLA.

"Its not the mistake of High Command. Local Goa leaders fed wrong inputs to decision makers in Delhi," Salgaoncar told reporters after putting his papers at the Congress House here.
He announced that he would be contesting as an independent from Mandrem constituency.

When asked whether he would like to support the Congress, if he gets elected as an independent, Sameer said his father (current legislator) will decide for him.

The first list of candidates has irked some others too. Party's St Cruz constituency legislator, Victoria Fernandes who was refused ticket in the first list, has already announced that her son Rudolf will contest as an independent.

Fernandes, a veteran Congress leader and the lone lady legislator in the current state legislative assembly, is likely to resign this week.

"I will resign by Friday," she told PTI. Another Congressman, former minister Sanjay Bandekar, has also threatened to quit the party over ticket issue.

Bandekar, who was aspiring for ticket from Canacona constituency is waiting for the final list as the party is yet to take its decision on this constituency. Vijay Pai Khot, a BJP legislator who is set to resign from the party, is expected to join Congress and get a ticket.

Bandekar said even if he is offered a ticket, he will resign in protest against denial of ticket to Fernandes.

The first list has also forced several members from party's Bicholim block committee to quit. Congress has given ticket to former BJP legislator Rajesh Patnekar in this constituency, who had recently joined the party.

Naresh Sawal, a local Congress leader, who was vying for the ticket has now decided to resign from the party. Sawal said he is yet to decide his political course.


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