Cong picks former Union min Khalap, ex-navyman Viriato Fernandes for Goa seats | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Cong picks former Union min Khalap, ex-navyman Viriato Fernandes for Goa seats

Apr 06, 2024 03:10 PM IST

Fernandes, a Kargil war former navy captain, said his candidature represented the voice of every Goan, which he intends to carry to the hallowed halls of the Parliament

Panaji: The Congress party on Saturday announced the list of six candidates, including for both Goa’s parliamentary seats – North and South for the coming Lok Sabha polls. The announcement was made by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K C Venugopal.

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

For the North Goa seat, the Congress has picked former Union minister Ramakant Khalap and for the South Goa seat, the party has fielded former Navyman Viriato Fernandes.

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Fernandes, a Kargil war former navy captain, said his candidature represented the voice of every Goan, which he intends to carry to the hallowed halls of the Parliament.

“This ticket is not for me. It is a ticket for every Goan, for every activist who has been crying hoarse against the injustices of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government, be it on issues of unemployment, inflation, the industrialisation of Goa’s coast through coal handling projects or the railway double tracking,” Fernandes said.

“This is also a battle for the survival of democracy that is under unprecedented attack by the ruling party which has taken control of every independent institution and is using them to hound the opposition, including our former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal,” he added.

Fernandes had previously unsuccessfully contested the 2022 Goa legislative assembly polls from the Dabolim constituency, losing narrowly to the BJP’s Mauvin Godinho, who is now the minister for transport. Fernandes will be up against Pallavi Dempo, an industrialist and the first woman MP candidate to be named by the BJP.

Khalap previously represented the north Goa seat between 1996 and 1998 when he won the seat representing the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

A seven-time MLA, Khalap will hope to unseat five-time North Goa MP Shripad Naik of the BJP, who is aiming to retain the North Goa seat for a sixth consecutive time.

The party also announced candidates for three seats of Madhya Pradesh and one for the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Voting for two Lok Sabha seats in Goa will take place during the third phase of voting on May 7. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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