Udayavni Special

Atmosphere ”extremely favourable” for Cong in Goa: Chidambaram on 2022 Assembly polls

PTI, Aug 26, 2021, 4:27 PM IST

Panaji: Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said the Congress was getting “battle-ready” to fight all 40 seats in the Goa Assembly elections due in February next year, and claimed that the political atmosphere in the state was “extremely favourable” for the party.

Addressing a press conference, the newly-appointed AICC election observer for Goa also expressed confidence that the Congress would form the next government in the state after the polls, but any decision on aligning with the like-minded parties would be taken at an appropriate time.

“Congress party is getting battle-ready for the Goa Legislative Assembly election scheduled next year. Initial assessment is that the political atmosphere is extremely favourable for Congress in all the constituencies. There are indications that there will be change in government and the new government will be led by Congress party,” he said.

The people of Goa expect that there should be a change in the government and the Congress party will not disappoint them, he added.

Chidambaram said the party will field such candidates, who are “loyal and faithful to the ideology of the party, hardworking and ready to serve the interest of the people of Goa”.

He also said that the party will find many aspirants in each constituency, but the decision about giving candidature will be taken only after consulting the active members of each block in the constituency, including those belonging to the Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, Seva Dal and other wings.

When asked about the change in party leadership in the state and whether Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar would be replaced, the party veteran said, “I am not here to replace anyone. Such organisational matters are discussed and decided at the appropriate time.”

As per speculation, Chodankar is likely to be replaced with another senior leader in the run-up to the Assembly polls.

Chidambaram also maintained silence on whether the party’s chief ministerial candidate would be announced in advance.

“The battle of Congress would be fought by 40 commanders in all the 40 constituencies,” he said.

He added that the candidates will not be announced “months in advance”, but they would get enough time to campaign in their respective constituencies.

The Congress had won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House in the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, restricting the main opponent BJP to 13. But the saffron party moved swiftly to ally with regional parties and came to power under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar, now deceased.

Over the years, Congress’s strength in the Legislative Assembly dwindled to five after many of its MLAs switched sides and joined the ruling BJP.

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