A strong opposition from the party cadre, particularly from St Cruz constituency, has voiced against Congress High Command’s plan to align with Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, the MLA expelled by the party two years ago.
Furthermore, even the four Congress panchayats of St Andre constituency have objected to award candidature to former MLA Francis Silveira claiming him to be a close aide of Babush.
The rebellion became public on Friday at a meeting in St Cruz, attended by over 2500 people. Members of the St Cruz Block Committee, Minority Cell, Seva Dal and Women’s Wing, during the meeting, threatened to resign from the party and work against the Congress in 2017 elections, if the party aligned with Monserrate (Babush) in the constituency.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Chella Kumar, State Party president Luizinho Faleiro along with Opposition Leader Pratapsingh Rane were present at the meeting.
“The block committees have objected to form an alliance with Monserrate in St Cruz. They are of the view that the party can support Monserrate in Panjim and his wife in Taleigao but not in St Cruz. Monserrate is an expelled party leader and we cannot trust him,” Congress Minority cell chief Urfan Mulla, an aspirant for the party ticket in the constituency. – Herald
According to speculation, Congress and Monserrate will form an alliance and in return the MLA wants his close aide and former St Cruz sarpanch Tony Fernandes to contest from St Cruz. He is also the president of Monserrate’s newly formed United Goans Party.
During the meeting, the Minority Cell demanded that the seat be reserved for a minority candidate. “We have proposed four names including mine. We don’t want Congress to use minority as vote bank. We want St Cruz ticket,” he said.
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