Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Luizinho Faleiro Monday hinted at forming an alliance with secular parties in the state for the 2017 assembly elections and appealed to all the secular forces to unite under the leadership of Congress party even as majority of the party’s block committees opposed the idea of ‘mahagathbandhan’ or grand alliance.
Speaking to the media in the city after chairing the GPCC meet, which included block committee heads and workers, Faleiro said that compared to Bihar, which has 243 seats, Goa is a small state and needs unity.
“Goa needs unity of secular forces and, therefore, those who want a good government in the future should move forward together. Congress party appeals to the people, let us all together put up a united force. Those who have seen the misrule of the present government should come under the leadership of Congress party for unity, to fight and win the elections,” he said.
Explaining further he said, “We had a government at Delhi; it was known as the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government under the leadership of Congress party. So it can encompass everything. That is the reason I’m saying that we want the unity of Goans.”
Faleiro stated that a decision on the alliance and the number of seats to be shared would be taken after September 30 when the Pradesh election committee and GPCC would shortlist the names of the candidates. He said, “We will advise the Congress party at the national level that we have got solid people (candidates) at this place (in a particular constituency), and we are weak at this place (in some other constituency) and there we will have to have some sort of unity. I call it ekvott.”
He said that the GPCC has asked the block committees to send their proposals by July 31 to the district committee and the district committee will inform the Pradesh election committee by August 31.
Taking a dig at the regional parties, Luizinho said that some try to arm-twist the Congress party and ask for a specific number of seats. “One party has asked for 16 seats and another party has already announced that they want eight seats. Then there is another person demanding 15 seats. Out of 40, if they are given these many seats, what will be left for the Congress MLAs,” he commented.
Faleiro said that it has been misconstrued that he is opposed to the idea of an alliance. “There is a misconception that Luizinho Faleiro is against ‘mahagathbandhan.’ If I had ever thought only Congress can rule and the other forces are of no importance, then I would have never approached them,” he said.