Gods To Keep Cong MLA’s Loyal!

Pledge: All the candidates given tickets by the Congress including minority community candidates were required to take a pledge in the Mahalaxmi temple in Mala that they would remain loyal to the party.

By Political Correspondent

The Indian National Congress extracted a pledge from the candidates to whom it gave tickets to swear before the pantheon of Gods. The candidates were given made a tour of all the divinities including the Mahalaxmi temple, Bambolim cross and the Betim Durga

After emerging as the single largest party in the 2017 assembly elections, winning 17 out of 40 seats, a total of 15 Congress MLAs had defected to the BJP in the years that followed. In this light, the party seeks to reassure their voters that history won’t repeat itself.
On Saturday, January 22, 36 Congress candidates for the Goa assembly election pledged their loyalty to the party at three religious institutions; a temple, a church and a mosque, ahead of the February assembly polls in the state, the Indian Express reported.
This pledge serves to assuage doubts in voters’ minds that voting for Congress candidates is tantamount to voting for the BJP, following the mass defection of 10 Congress legislators to the BJP in July, 2019, just ahead of the Monsoon session of the assembly that year.
At the Mahalaxmi temple in the state capital Panaji, the 36 candidates pledged that they would “remain loyal to the Congress party that has given us tickets” and that they would “remain with the party in all circumstances,” the newspaper reported. A similar oath was administered unto them by a priest at the Bambolim Cross church and later, the 34 male candidates repeated their vows at the Hamza Shah Dargah in Betim.
The candidates were also joined by former chief minister Digambar Kamat (who also took the oath), the party’s senior election observer and former Union minister P. Chidambaram, All India Congress Committee (AICC) desk in-charge for Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar at the three places of worship.
Speaking about the pledges, the newspaper quoted Kamat as saying, “Goans are known for communal harmony,” and that they were “… very serious about this (loyalty to the Congress) and will not allow any party to poach our MLAs.”
“We are God fearing people. We have full faith in the Almighty. Hence, today we have taken a pledge that we will not defect,” Kamat is quoted as saying.
After having emerged from the 2017 assembly polls in Goa as the single largest party, winning 17 of the 40 seats, 15 MLAs had subsequently defected to the BJP, ten of whom did so at the same time, led by then leader of the opposition in the assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar, as mentioned above.
The Congress had already taken steps against defections in July last year when Kamat, the leader of the opposition in the assembly, had said that he would move a private members resolution seeking changes to the anti-defection law as it stood then.
At that time, Chodankar had said that no Congress MLA would defect henceforth, also saying, ““We have changed our selection process. We will field 75-80% young faces in the coming election,” according to the Hindustan Times.
After the pledges on Saturday afternoon, Kamat noted that the sole blame for the defections does not rest with Congress and that the BJP was equally responsible since they actively poached the MLAs.
“BJP gave them offers and hence they switched parties. We want to assure the people of Goa that it will not happen again,” Kamat, who will contest from Margao, said.
In January this year, Michael Lobo, a minister in the BJP state government and the MLA from the Calangute seat as well as Maem MLA Pravin Zantye resigned from the BJP. Lobo subsequently joined the Congress.
After Saturday, Lobo reportedly said, “There are people who say they are Congress voters but have questions in their mind whether the candidates will stay with the Congress after winning? That is why we decided to take this pledge. It is important.”

Courtesy : The Wire

DEFECTORS REJECTED, MOSTLY NEW FACES

With little over two weeks to go for Valentine’s day poll, the Congress party conducted a press conference chaired by Mr Girish Chodankar. In its battle with the ruling BJP, the Congress appears to have entrusted faith in young contestants. According to the state party president, the average age of the Congress candidates given tickets is 48 years.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Chodankar also said that the party had fielded 80 per cent new faces and that the party would be contesting around 37 out of the 40 state assembly seats which are scheduled to go to the polls next month. With veteran MLA’s Pratap Singh Rane withdrawing his nomination, the Congress will have big shoes to fill in the Poirem stronghold. Mr Chodankar seems confident that the Party will have a clear path and the selected candidate Ranjit Rane call fill the vacuum created in the Poirem constituency.
The Congress has certainly rebooted its outlook for the upcoming polls with 70-80% new and young faces. Only 6 candidates who have been former MLA’s have been given a ticket and 18 candidates will be contesting for the first time. Out of the 37 candidates fielded 4 candidates are under the age of 40, 18 candidates under the age of 50 and only 5 candidates between the age group of 60-70. This has come in response to the criticism Congress faced ahead of the 2017 state assembly polls. In 2017 the party fielded several ageing former Chief Ministers. The party won 17 assembly seats after the polls, however, since 2019 the party has lost 13 MLA’s to defections and cross overs.
After the mass exodus of 10 MLAs in 2019, the Congress party passed a resolution banning the entry of the defectors back into the Congress, with Chodankar promising the people of the state, that no defector would be given a ticket both direct and indirectly. The irony of the situation is that even though the Congress has not accepted candidates that defected from the party in 2019 they have welcomed defectors from other parties like Michael Lobo from the BJP.
The breakup of Hindu and Christian candidates is almost even with 17 Christian candidates being given tickets and 20 Hindus. A large number of candidates belonging to the OBC category mainly the Bhandari community have been included added Girish.

One thought on “Gods To Keep Cong MLA’s Loyal!”

  1. Till Congress is in Goa, BJP will be in Goa. To remove BJP from Goa then Goans must first need to remove Congress from Goa. Congress Voters voted Congress and gave 17 MLAs to Goa. Today there are only 2 Congress MLAs left with the Congress Voters in Goa. Others all went in BJP. Feeling very SAD for Congress Voters. Now Congress Voters has very nice honest alternative Party in Goa and they should vote to this Honest Aam Aadmi Party in coming all elections in Goa.

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