A Goa Congress leader who withdrew from the June 4 bypoll at the eleventh hour of the closing of nominations has been expelled from the party for 6 years.
Raymond D’Sa, Congress candidate from Cortalim, did not provide any chance to field a replacement, giving a walkover to BJP’s Alina Saldanha. Independent candidate Ramakant Borkar too opted out at the last moment.
As his party colleagues were waiting for him in the Congress house, D’Sa went alone to the returning officer and withdrew from the fray. The bypoll was necessitated after the death of BJP legislator Matanhy Saldanha.
Party in-charge of Goa affairs Jagmeet Singh Brar has constituted a four-member committee to probe into the matter. Congress sources said a dry dock run, by D’Sa could have been used by the BJP government to force him to withdraw.
The central leadership has asked the committee to submit its report within seven days, which would be handed over to the Congress high command.
A senior Congress worker said the party should have put all preventive measures in place since there were apprehensions of “some foul play”. “This is not the first time a Congress candidate has withdrawn at the last moment,” he said.
Goa leaders are demanding a complete overhaul of the state unit in view of the fiasco.