Senior Youth Congress leader from the state, Ms Pratima Coutinho was on Thursday elected as the new president of the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress in a keenly contested election by secret ballot, held for the first time by the Foundation for Advanced Management of Election.
The elections were marred by allegations of corrupt practices which led to disqualification of Ms Valanka Alemao, daughter of the PWD Minister Mr Churchill Alemao, by the election commission of the Indian Youth Congress from contesting the election.Ms Coutinho, who polled in 340 votes out of 460 votes cast by the eligible Youth Congress members in the state, defeated her nearest rival Mr Xavier Fialho, who got 335 votes, by a margin of five votes. As the margin of victory was very small, recount was sought by the losing candidate three times before the final results were declared.As per the norms, Mr Fialho, the second highest vote getter, was declared elected as the vice president. Others who were elected to the committee are Mr Jitesh Kamat, Ms Gauri Shirodkar, Mr Adil Ahmed Tinwale and Mr Gautam Bhagat, all general secretaries.
Ms Pratima Coutinho in a jovial mood after emerging victorious in the GPYC elections. (Nandesh Kambli)
A visibly moved Ms Coutinho thanked the youth for having voted her to head the GPYC, even as she assured to take the youth wing of the Congress to greater heights. “The youth of Congress have chosen their leader,” she said. She also said that the Youth Congress members have voted for a loyal and non-corrupt Congress worker who has struggled along with others to build a strong youth organisation in the state for over 12 years.Another senior Youth Congress leader told The Navhind Times that inspite of a lot of pressure from powerful leaders, the Youth Congress members stood their ground and voted for the candidate of their choice. “The Youth Congress members did not bow down to the mighty and powerful,” he added.
In the election to the North Goa parliamentary constituency, Mr Varad Mardolkar was elected as the president. He secured 142 votes, while Mr Sarvesh Thali, who polled 69 votes, was elected as the vice president. Messrs Amir Khusro Jamadar, Cannigia Carvalho, Manisha Fernandes and Savio Martins were elected as general secretaries.In South Goa, the post of president was won by Mr Shirish Nayak (177 votes), while Ms Rayna Fernandes (120 votes) was elected as the vice president. Messrs Amar Phadte, Dayesh Naik, Dionizio Dias, Ramesh Parab and Zameer Ahmed Narangi were elected as general secretaries.
The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Subhash Shirodkar said that the elections have proved that Congress party was a democratic organization and that the elections were on par with those conducted by the Election Commission of India. He said that the youth Congress members put up a very good show in the process. While congratulating the winners in the elections, Mr Shirodkar thanked all those who participated in the electoral process and contributed their strength in building the Congress as a strong democratic organisation.