Can't stop anyone from leaving Congress: Digvijay Singh

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Panaji, Dec 14: After a senior MLA threatened to quit ahead of the Panaji Assembly seat by-election to contest as an independent candidate, Congress' Goa desk incharge Digvijay Singh on Sunday said any person cannot be stopped from leaving the party.

Congress' former Goa minister and St Cruz legislator Atanasio Monserratte had announced that he would quit the party to contest as an independent candidate in the bypoll to Panaji seat, which fell vacant after Manohar Parrikar joined the Central government as Defence Minister.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh

"If anyone wants to go out, we can't stop them. But at the same time it is the ideology which matters in politics. I would request them to stick to the Congress party ideology. Ultimately, it is the ideology that drives politics in India," Singh told PTI on the sidelines of the ongoing 'Chintan Shibir' that began Saturday at Dona Paula near here.

"There have been instances where people from Congress have left the party and formed regional parties and then came back. So mobility is always there in the smaller states. At the same time, when it comes to ideology, most of the people who are in Congress believe in the ideology of secularism, socialism, equity and probity in public life," he said.

The Congress general secretary said the party in Goa, which faced a debacle during the 2012 Assembly elections, is now preparing a roadmap. "Luizinho Faleiro has now taken over (as Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president). He and Rane (Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane) are very experienced persons. They are in the Congress for a long time. I think they will be able to draw a roadmap for the party," he said.

The Chintan Shibir is a part of the process for preparing the roadmap so that Congress party can be built for the next state Assembly elections, he said.

Singh said Congress is getting ready for the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, which it will fight hard. "We will expose the incompetence, the non-performance of the BJP government and also how they have not fulfilled their promises," he added.

PTI 

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