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Goa polls: Ticket allocations upset BJP, Cong heavyweights

Ticket allocations by the BJP and the Congress have come as a shocker for many of their stalwarts in Goa who are now in the fray either as independent candidates or have withdrawn from the campaign.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2017 17:03 IST
PTI
Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat files his nomination papers from Margao constituency for the upcoming assembly polls.
Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat files his nomination papers from Margao constituency for the upcoming assembly polls.(PTI File Photo)

Recent ticket allocations by the BJP and the Congress came as a shocker for many of their stalwarts in Goa who are now in the fray either as independent candidates or have withdrawn from the campaign in the run-up to the state assembly polls.

The BJP, which is ruling with 21 legislators on the floor of the 40-member House, kept aside three sitting MLAs from their list of candidates and instead favoured Congress turncoats.

While St Andre legislator Vishnu Wagh was refused ticket due to his health conditions, Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar was shocked to not find his name in the list.

“BJP will face revolt from the Scheduled Tribes community for keeping me out of the list. They will face a setback in the constituencies where ST population is a deciding factor,” Tawadkar said.

The former minister has now filed his nomination as an Independent candidate from Canacona constituency.

Goa assembly speaker Anant Shet, who represented the BJP from Mayem constituency, was also denied a ticket.

While initial rumours were rife that Shet will be joining the NCP to contest from Mayem, he has refused to file his nomination from any party or as an independent.

“I am not going to revolt against the party but may also not work for the candidate,” Shet said.

The party also denied candidature to Siddesh Naik, son of Union minister for state for AYUSH Shripad Naik in Cumbharjua constituency - the only probable candidate the party had from this seat until Congress rebels joined the BJP last month.

All these three leaders are replaced by Congress imports Vijay Pai Khot (Canacona), Pravin Zyante (Mayem) and Pandurang Madkaikar (Cumbharjua).

The Congress has upset several leaders- right from senior leaders like Sangita Parab, Jitendra Deshprabhu, Pratap Gawas and Joaquim Alemao besides young turks like Sunil Kawthankar and Urfan Mulla, who were denied ticket by the party despite their names figuring in the list of probable candidates submitted by the respective block committees.

In Mandrem, both mother and son - former minister Sangita Parab and Sachin, were looked as the probable candidates along with party senior most leaders Jitendra Deshprabhu.

Sangita and Sachin had joined the Congress in March last year. However, all the three were declined ticket with the party fielding Dayanand Sopte.

Though he has managed to obtain the party ticket, he may face a tough challenge from rejected aspirants.

“I am not campaigning for the Congress candidate in Mandrem,” Deshprabhu said when asked whether he will support Sopte.

The most vocal and young leader - general secretary Sunil Kawthankar - who attacked the government on every failure, has also been denied ticket while promoting a non-Congressman, Santosh Sawanth.

“Party workers are very upset. I have been working for party past 15 years and has been the most vocal leader against the government. At times I even went against my own leaders for party sake. And this is how I am being rewarded,” he said.

“Despite having no heavyweight candidate or sitting MLA, my name is been declined. It is very unfortunate. At the behest of some vested interests within party, the high command is acting like this,” Kawthankar added.

A revolt within the Congress was also witnessed in Sankhalim and Cuncolim, after the party denied ticket to former MLAs Pratap Gawas and Joaquim Alemao.

While Gawas joined the NCP and filed nominations, Alemao is contesting as an independent.

In Sankhlim, the Congress has fielded Dharmesh Saglani and in Cuncolim Clafacio Dias.