Rift in Congress surfaces ahead of Goa polls
Panaji, Jan 19 (IANS) In what could indicate a rift in the Congress party ahead of the February 4 poll, a party office-bearer, who on Tuesday burnt an effigy of AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh, has been awarded party ticket to contest the Fatorda seat in South Goa district.
Joseph Silva, a junior office-bearer in the party’s state organisational setup, filed his nomination on Wednesday, a day after torching Digvijaya’s effigy, and it was formally accepted by the poll officials on Thursday.
“Digvijayji has already forgiven him. These things happen sometimes,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Girish Chodankar told reporters when asked about the allegations made by Silva that Singh was compromising the interests of the Congress.
Fatorda Legislative Assembly seat and the twin possibilities of going it alone or entering into an alliance with a regional party, Goa Forward, have been the bone of contention between Singh and state Congress President Luizinho Faleiro.
While Digvijaya Singh has made it clear on numerous occasions that the Congress would not contest the seat, the allotting of the Congress ticket to Silva, who is considered close to the Faleiro camp, indicates a rift between the two top party officials.
“Our party is not like the BJP, where only one person decides. There can be multiple opinions on such issues,” Chodankar said, adding that Singh was arriving in Goa late on Thursday to find a resolution to the deadlock over the proposed seat arrangement with the Goa Forward.
Chodankar said the Congress is contesting 37 seats out of the 40 Legislative Assembly seats up in the February 4 polls.
“The final call on the understanding between the Congress and the Goa Forward would be taken before the last date of withdrawal (January 21),” he added.