Sunday , 19 May 2019

BJP holds its horses on Mapusa fray  

PANAJI/MAPUSA: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday stated that it has not given any thought to the Mapusa by-poll yet, and everything would be decided at right time.

The Mapusa constituency has fallen vacant after its MLA Francis D’Souza passed away on Thursday.

State BJP president Vinay Tendulkar told ‘The Navhind Times’  that there was no proposal of any kind to the party, as regards considering Joshua D’Souza, the son of Francis D’Souza, for the candidature of the party in the Mapusa constituency.

Tendulkar said that it is too early to speak about the same as the party is still mourning the death of Francis D’Souza. “A due decision would be taken by the party once the Election Commission of India announces the Mapusa by-poll,” he informed.

The Mapusa by-election has raised hopes of political aspirants in the constituency, including Rupesh Kamat, Sudhir Kandolkar, Sandip Falari, Vijay Bhike, Vinod Phadke and of course Joshua D’Souza.

Since the Liberation the Mapusa constituency has been represented in the state legislative assembly by the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party for six times, the BJP represented it for four times, while the Indian National Congress (Urs) and the Goa Rajiv Congress represented  it one time each.

Francis D’Souza had represented the Mapusa assembly segment in the House for five times since 1999.

The vacant seat has now kicked off excitement among BJP hopefuls – Joshua D’Souza, Kamat, Kandolkar and Falari.

The possibility of Joshua D’Souza becoming the top contender for BJP nomination cannot be ruled out as he enjoys backing of Francis D’Souza’s loyal supporters especially among Christians.

Francis D’Souza was also popular among migrants.

Joshua D’Souza could be spoilt for choice because Town and Country Minister Vijai Sardesai has expressed his willingness to back him.

Sardesai has said that “Francis was a man who believed in simple living and high thinking. He could sense the pulse of the people. He had won hearts of the people. His legacy should be preserved. His son should take it forward.”

Holding Francis D’Souza in high esteem, The TCP Minister said, “Francis has done good work for the citizens of Mapusa and his legacy should be carried forward by his son Joshua. In past, I had discussed many political developments in the state of Goa and also in his constituency with Francis. I was willing to back his son. I am still willing.”

Kamat, who has been working closely with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, has support of BJP leaders.

Kandolkar could also emerge as a dark horse. Besides being former MMC chairperson, Kandolkar has a good rapport with people, especially among the migrants.  He belongs to Bhaujan Samaj, which could   give him edge over other candidates.

As far as the Congress is concerned, North Goa district Congress president Vijay Bhike, former MMC chairperson Armindo Braganza and a member of the Khalap family could be contenders for Congress ticket.

The MGP, which may also throw its hat in the Mapusa fray, may see Vinod Phadke pushing for ticket.

NCP general secretary Sanjay Barde may also contest the by-poll.