The Congress party might have to prepare a fresh list of its probable candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections following chorus of demand from the members of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee that fresh candidates be fielded if the party wanted to win the elections.
According to the sources in the party there was overwhelming demand from the members of the GPCC to field a fresh face from South Goa by replacing Francisco Sardinha, the sitting MP, at the extended meeting of GPCC held at Margao in the presence of AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and secretary A Chella Kumar.
The sources said that though the Congress normally does not reject tickets to sitting members, it might have to do a rethink given the widespread demand from its grassroots level leaders. A final call on whether to replace sitting Congress MP Francisco Sardinha would have to be taken by the high command, the sources added.
Though Sardinha and Luizinho Faleiro, the AICC general secretary in-charge of North Eastern states, and Valanka Alemao had their backers too, there was a general feeling among most GPCC members that the party would benefit if fresh faces were fielded. The sources said that the party might give in to the demand and name altogether a new face. In the case of North Goa Lok Sabha seat, the GPCC members felt that Congress should contest it to wrest it from sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MP Shripad Naik. Most members felt that Congress has a much bigger base in North Goa than the Nationalist Congress Party and that Congress should not repeat the past mistake if it wanted to wrest the seat from BJP.
According to sources, many in the party were in favour of a new face for North Goa too and the candidates shortlisted by the party did not find much favour among many of the GPCC members. The sources did not rule out the possibility of Vishnu Wagh, the sitting BJP legislator from St Andre, being named as the Congress nominee in case he switches over to the Congress.
Meanwhile, Faleiro has said that he is not in the race for the South Goa ticket and that he would prefer to carry on with the work assigned to him by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the N-E states.
He said that he was too busy with his assignments as he has to prepare not only for parliamentary elections but also for two state assemblies, which would go to polls simultaneously. “I have a very busy schedule and happy to execute the works assigned to me” he said. Faleiro said that he was overwhelmed and humbled by the support he got for his candidature from the Congressmen in the state, even as he went on to add that he would prefer to complete the mission in the North East to help the party.