Panaji: Even as some of the leaders within Congress have expressed their concerns over the new faces as the party candidates for upcoming Zilla Panchayat by-election, GPCC Chief Amit Patkar has strongly defended the decision to field these candidates.
Congress has announced Pragati Sandeep Pednekar, Leoncio Raikar and Valent Barbosa as their candidates for ZP by-polls from Reis Magos, Davorlim and Cortalim constituencies respectively.
This had irked some of the veterans in the party as all of these candidates have either recently joined the party or had left the party.
While Pednekar was AAP leader from Saligao Assembly segment, Leoncio had joined TMC and Valent is a new to the political circle.
The discussion on this issue began when one of the Congress leader Vladmir De Monte Furtado circulated message on whatsapp groups claiming that all the three ZP candiates are new entrants in the congress party. Just few days old in the party.
“(They have ) Entered only for tickets and not for love of the party,” he said.
“Seems that there are no winnable candidates or leaders remaining in the congress or is it that loyalists are taken for granted yet again?,” he questioned further.
When contacted, Cortalim Congress leader Olancio Simoes said that the local block had suggested the name of Valent as he is young and well-educated candidate.
He said that there were few more aspirants but Valent was chosen as he is promising candidate.
When pointed out that Valent had joined Congress, only two days before he was awarded the ticket, Simoes said that he is not new to the party as his father was a congressman and “Valent was not into politics.” “Congress is his first political party,” he added.
Navelim congress leader Avertano Furtado was not available for his comments on Davorlim candidate.
GPCC President Amit Patkar said that the party has taken the decision after considering all the circumstances.
“Valent is new to the politics. He had recently joined Congress but he was not in any other political party before it,” he said.
Patkar said that Davorlim candidate, Raikar, is a staunch congressman but had joined TMC due to some differences, for a short tenure, during Assembly elections.
“He has resigned from the TMC and joined Congress back. He also has the experience of contesting ZP elections in the past as an independent candidate,” the GPCC chief said.
Patkar said that Reis Magos candidate had joined Congress, long back, during the tenure of Girish Chodankar as the President of party’s Goa unit. She was in the AAP but had later joined Congress when Kedar Naik joined. She has been in the party and is a formidable candidate from the constituency, he added.
Patkar said that Pednekar had worked for Congress during recently held Assembly polls and has contributed to the victory of Kedar Naik.