Announcing their decision, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Wednesday informed that their party would be contesting in all 40 constituencies of the state on their own without an alliance. Commenting also on the ultimatum given to them by Cumbarjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar, they said that the party would nominate only loyal Congressmen to contest under their banner for the polls and not be succumbed by blackmail.
Digvijay Singh, General Secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) addressed the media from the Panaji office and informed that they will contest all 40 constituencies and nominate as many new faces as possible.
On a question of a possible pre-poll alliance with other national and regional parties, Singh said, “No question. We are fighting all 40 seats. If anyone wants to come, he is most welcome but he has to fight on Congress symbol.”
Opposition Within the Congress
AICC General Secretary also spoke on the opposition within the party saying, “We are not going to succumb to any kind of pressure, whether we lose or win, we want to have a dedicated loyalist Congressman as the candidate in this coming election.”
On the question of Madkaikar’s ultimatum he replied, “If he is not interested, we will find another candidate. We are not going to be pressurised and blackmailed by anyone. Congress stands firm that we are not going to be blackmailed by anyone. He has been making contradictory statements and we will not succumb to any kind of pressure.”
Reaction of GFP and NCP
Goa Forward Party (GFP) president, Prabhakar Timble said regarding the decision that, “Goa Forward is accountable to Goa and Goans and hence will not act irresponsibly despite the Congress party’s snub for alliance. We will not react or act to spoil the chances of anti-BJP forces as final objective is to oust BJP from power.”
Although highlighting the silver lining in Congress’ early decision he said, “One good thing is that Congress party has communicated through media quite well in advance. We will assess our winnability constituency-wise vis-a-vis that of others and choose seats with responsibility. We will not be rash. At the same time, we know that Congress is disrespectful to the people of Goa.”
Responding to the same, Jose Philip D’Souza president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said that NCP was ready for either situation of contesting elections alone or forming a coalition with likeminded parties, however feared the result of weak candidates, which according to him, would only ensure that BJP is brought back to power.