Consultations on to finalise Cong nominee for Mormugao by-election

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Panaji, Oct 10 (UNI) With only two days left for filing of nominations, indecision continues to dog the Congress party over the suitable choice of candidate for the October 30 by-election to Mormugao Parliamentary Constituency in South Goa.

Recently appointed AICC General Secretary in-charge of Goa Desk B K Hariprasad, meanwhile, had initiated consultations with the party leaders for eliciting their opinion before arriving at a consensus candidate, soon after his arrival here today.

Mr Prasad, earlier in the day, called on party supremo Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi along with GPCC president Francisco Sardinha and PWD Minister and SGF chief Churchill Alemao, besides Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who presented their views to her on the issue.

The trio, who rushed to Delhi on being summoned by Hari Prasad the day before, were back home this evening. They left the decision to the party high command.

''We have not yet finalised any candidate for the by-election, leave alone Valanka. We may come out with the name tomorrow,'' Mr Prasad told UNI late tonight, while continuing to confer with the party leaders.

Mr Alemao was confident that the party would honour its committment by giving the ticket to his advocate daughter Valanka.

He however, kept mum about reciprocating the promise with merging his SGF with the Congress, saying, ''It may not happen immediately.'' The by-election was caused due to his resignation as a Congress rebel in May last to join the state politics and hold the reins of the state as the chief of the local outfit SGF, which got only two seats.

In August, he joined the Kamat government as the PWD Minister, after deserting the BJP-led Goa Democratic Alliance (GDA), reportedly on the assurance that his daughter would get the party ticket.

Meanwhile, the BJP, main rival, has also been anxiously waiting for the announcement of the Congress candidate. The state unit president Shripad Naik has already submitted the names of the shortlisted candidates to the Central Election Committee of the party in Delhi today.

Other regional outfits -- Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the United Goans Democratic Party -- have not yet decided whether to contest the election or support others in the fray.


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