The Congress party has begun the process of shortlisting the probable candidates for the forthcoming by-elections to the Mandrem and Shiroda Assembly constituencies and the subsequent elections to the Lok Sabha.
“We have started the process and already had a meeting of the Pradesh election committee wherein we directed the North and South Goa district committees to shortlist candidates for the two seats of parliamentary election. We have also directed the Mandrem and Shiroda blocks to shortlist the probables for the bypolls,” said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar while speaking to this daily.
He said that the list of probable candidates will be submitted by the district committees and Mandrem and Shiroda blocks to the Pradesh election committee in the next 10-15 days and the same will be forwarded to the party’s central election committee along with the merits and demerits of the shortlisted candidates.
Sources in the party have said that there are many names doing the rounds for both the Assembly constituencies. Sources have said that in Mandrem names of former Union minister Ramakant Khalap, Sachin Parab, son of former education minister Sangita Parab, and senior local leader Babi Bagkar are doing the rounds as the probable candidates of the Congress party.
Khalap and Parab have publicly expressed their
wish to contest the by-elections on Congress ticket and have also conveyed the same to the party’s local leadership. Khalap told this daily, “It is only a wish, as there has to be someone who can face the present situation in Mandrem. I am not lobbying for myself and have left it to the party to take a call, taking into consideration the mood of the electorate and the need of the party.” He said that he would abide by the decision of the party even if the ticket is not given to him. Khalap said that he would work for the candidate who is nominated by the Congress party.
According to the party sources, around six names have already been shortlisted by the block committee of Shiroda. Some of the names emerging here are Diwakar Salelkar, Zilla Parishad member Jaideep Shirodkar and Sunil Sawkar.
Former industries minister and senior BJP leader from Shiroda Mahadev Naik had recently met senior leaders of the Congress party and urged them to give him an opportunity to contest the bypoll in Shiroda on Congress ticket. However, sources have informed that the Congress leadership is yet to respond to his request.
Sources said that there may be a little delay in shortlisting of the probable candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.