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Congress zeroes in on MLA for Opposition leader post

Panaji: The Congress party on Monday zeroed in on one of the remaining five MLAs for taking up the position of new Opposition leader in the state legislative assembly.

However, the party high command will take a final call shortly.

A senior Congress leader  said  that AICC secretary in-charge of Goa desk A Chellakumar left for Delhi after shortlisting the name, and announcement  may  be made in a couple of days.

Before leaving the state, Chellakumar met the MLAs and held discussions on building consensus among them.

The senior party leader said the Congress legislature party will convey to state legislative assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar decision on Opposition leader after the party high command gives its nod to the shortlisted name.

The Congress has been in a piquant situation after 10 of the 15 party MLAs – the two-third majority of the legislative wing – merged their splinter group into the Bharatiya Janata Party on July 10.  Among those who crossed over to the BJP include Chandrakant Kavlekar, who had been the Opposition leader since March 2017.

Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco reckoned that the Congress has been marred by delays in decision-making, and has not been able to properly perform the duty as the Opposition party in the state.

“I have not demanded, and I will not demand the said post as I am not for a position of power. I don’t want them (10 rebel Congress MLAs who joined the BJP) to say that they crossed over because I wanted to be the Opposition leader,” he maintained.

Lourenco said that he will not have problem in working under any MLA who will be named as Opposition leader.

Senior Congress leader and Poriem MLA Pratapsingh Rane expressed ignorance as to who has been zeroed in on for the post of Opposition leader.

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