PANAJI, 11 Jan 2017: Desperately searching for an elusive win the Congress has proposed a grand alliance in Goa with United Goan Party (UGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Nationalist Congress Party, offering them two seats each to contest the assembly elections scheduled to be held on February 4.
This offer was reportedly made at a meeting of the central election committee of the party chaired by all-India Congress committee president Sonia Gandhi, the party decided to offer the three parties two seats each.
The CEC appointed a three-member committee to negotiate the deal with the two regional parties and one national party and a final decision on the formation of the alliance will be taken after deliberations on Wednesday.
The CEC, however, cleared the list of candidates for 34 constituencies which would be announced along with the announcement of the alliance, if forged, on Wednesday, February 11.
Sources told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the Congress committee has offered Panaji and Taleigao constituencies to Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate’s UGP, while the NCP will be offered Vasco and Benaulim seats; the GFP is being offered Fatorda and Porvorim assembly segments.
A senior Congress leader who attended the meeting said, “A final decision on the alliance could not be reached as the house was divided.
While one group of leaders supported forging an alliance with the likeminded parties in the state, a strong opposition was placed by the other group which stated that except the Panaji constituency, the party should go alone and contest all the remaining 39 constituencies.”
Stating that the list of candidates has been finalised, the senior leader said that after a lot of deliberations Sonia Gandhi decided to appoint a three-member committee to negotiate on the alliance with the three parties.
However, till late night the names of the committee members were not announced.
Sources said that GFP mentor and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai and UGP president Monserrate will reach Delhi on Wednesday morning to negotiate on seat-sharing.
Monserrate has already announced his candidature for the Panaji constituency and Congress’ offer to leave out the constituency from contesting, has confirmed a four-cornered contest in the capital city. The GFP has a candidate in Fatorda but Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte, who had been once close to the GFP, is yet to declare his intentions to contest the elections on GFP ticket.
The NCP has already announced that the Vasco constituency will be contested by its state president Jose Philip D’Souza and the Benaulim seat by former PWD minister Churchill Alemao.
The sources stated that the Congress’ candidates list contains the names of sitting MLAs Pratapsing Rane, Digambar Kamat, Vishwajeet Rane, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Reginaldo Lourenco, Jennifer Monserrate apart from the Goa pradesh Congress committee president Luizinho Faleiro, former tourism minister Nilkanth Halankar and Savitri Kavlekar.