Panaji: Stating that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which presently has one MLA in the 40-member Goa House, has been expanding its base in the state, senior NCP leader Praful Patel Sunday said that the party is in a good position in at least 7-8 constituencies. He also said many political leaders in the state are in touch with the party.
“We are going to identify all the constituencies and start working for the next assembly elections. We are currently in a good position in at least 7-8 constituencies. We want to build our own strength on the basis of which we will contest,” he said addressing a public meeting at the Azad Maidan and added that in order to protect the interests of Goans, the NCP needs to have an alliance with like-minded parties.
“We have now begun a new innings of rebuilding the party in Goa and will form panels at taluka and booth level and identify constituencies for the forthcoming assembly elections in Goa,” he said. Stating that the party presently wants to concentrate on its strongholds in 7-8 constituencies, he said the party’s base will be strengthened so as to prepare for the next elections in the state.
Patel said senior party leaders from Maharashtra will keep visiting the state to review the party’s progress and assured that the party will support the people of Goa in their fight against the issues affecting the state like coal, Mhadei water dispute and other issues.
“Goa needs to be the modern face of new India and I want that all Goans should start working in this direction,” Patel said while urging the people to support NCP to keep BJP out of power at the next elections. “We had a good chance to forge an alliance with BJP in Maharashtra but we did not. We joined hands with Congress and Shiv Sena and formed the government there,” he said.
State NCP president Jose Philip D’Souza said, “We feel proud to work with the national leaders and in future people will join national parties. We have kept the option for all to join us and in this regard, I have given a hint to my leaders.” He said the party needs to work to bring back the workers who have distanced themselves from the party.
Lashing out at senior Congress leaders over casinos, double-tracking and Mhadei issue, Benaulim NCP MLA Churchill Alemao said unless Congress gives NCP 20 seats, the party will not ally with it.
“I have seen the world and how tourism industry functions in foreign countries. We need to raise the standard of the tourism industry, as it provides employment to a large section of Goans. We don’t want coal in Goa,” he said.