Prominent Congress political families in Goa have laid claim to at least 14 assembly tickets for the March 3 polls even as the party’s rivals are hurling accusations of nepotism.
While party strongman Churchill Alemao has asked for four tickets — for his brother, daughter, nephew and for himself — speaker Pratapsinh Rane, state home minister Ravi Naik, state education minister Atanasio Monserratte and party spokesperson Ramakanth Khalap have sought two seats each for their relatives.
Chief minister Digambar Kamat has also joined the bandwagon, demanding tickets for two of his friends — industrialist Samir Salgoacar and Vijay Pai Knot, who quit the BJP recently.
The coastal state has been witnessing political turbulence since it achieved statehood in 1987. The state has seen 14 governments in the last 15 years prompting powerful leaders to push for their near-and-dear ones.
The BJP, the main opposition party in Goa, has said the Congress’s obsession with nepotism is inspired by the party's national leadership.
“The Congress is all about dynastic rule, whether it is at the Centre or the state,” said opposition leader Manohar Parikkar. “Merit is the only criterion for the BJP. We discourage giving tickets to relatives.”
But the Congress leaders justified their actions, saying it’s normal for children to follow their parents’ footsteps.
“Being a politician’s son is not a disqualification. Most of them have been in the field for many years,” said Khalap.