Diggi calls Vijai to join Cong, points Churchill to high command

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 18 May 2016 21:54 IST

Congress leader Digvijay Singh finally did what was predicted in political circles. He has appealed to Vijai Sardesai, initiator of Goa Forward, to join the Congress rather than promoting a Mahagatbandhan.

“We have nothing against Vijay, but Churchill Alemao should ensure that all the charges against him in the Louis Berger scam are settled before joining the Congress”, said Singh today.

Singh is on a Goa visit since today, holding important meetings including the Election Co-ordination Committee meeting of the party.

His statement made it amply clear that Singh wants Sardesai to join the Congress, on the lines of what the leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party have done.

Admitting that the Fatorda independent MLA is his ‘good personal friend’, the AICC general secretary disclosed that he has been requesting Sardesai for quite some time to join the Congress.

Sardesai had quit the Congress as he was refused party ticket in 2012 election, to get elected as independent from Fatorda.

Taking a step ahead, the master manipulator of Fatorda has now formed a regional outfit – Goa Forward, which is still not registered with the Election Commission of India.

Naresh Sawal, his counterpart in Bicholim who aligned with Sardesai along with Rohan Khaunte, had once said that Goa Forward is not a political party but a concept of a political movement.

Besides maintaining ‘good friendship’ with the national observer, Sardesai has also successfully roped in two Salcete-based Congress leaders – former CM Digambar Kamat and Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco. – in his camp.

   

There was also a move to make Lourenco the GPCC president while Kamat the Congress Legislature Party leader, replacing Luizinho Faleiro and Pratapsing Rane respectively.

Singh’s public appeal to Sardesai for homecoming thus becomes significant in this background.

The AICC observer however does not apply the same criteria to Churchill Alemao, who is making public appeals to make him join the Congress, which he had quit during 2014 Lok Sabha election.

“He has met me with the same request. But I have clearly told him that he should get all the charges against him settled before joining the party”, said Singh.

It is obvious that the Louis Berger case would not be settled before the next Assembly election.

Singh has also not said that Digambar Kamat, co-accused with Churchill in the Louis Berger case, would face the same criteria to get the party ticket.

“Our doors are open to one and all”, says Singh while also stating that competence, image and winnability would be the criteria to get Congress tickets.

It is thus clear that the Congress, unlike in the past, would not open doors for Churchill but for others.

In fact, he feels there is more scope for new faces to get tickets this time since the number of Congress MLAs has reduced drastically.

The party has also decided to declare its candidates by September, much before even Assembly election is formally announced. 

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