Cong playing safe on alliance; neither opposing nor hurrying

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 19 July 2016 20:12 IST

Has the Congress rejected the move of Grand Alliance in the next Assembly election or is it buying time to strengthen its eroded base across the state?

It was obvious that most of the block committees would reject the move of Grand Alliance of anti-BJP parties at the forthcoming Assembly election, but the Congress leaders are not forthrightly dismissing the possibility.

“I would rather call it Ekvott (unit) than Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of secular and like-minded parties. We need to unite to defeat the BJP in Goa”, said Luizinho Faleiro, the Goa Congress chief.

In a meeting of all the 40 block committees convened yesterday along with the legislators and the GPCC members, the move was opposed by nearly 37 blocks.

This was obvious since the party cadres wanted to push their own candidates in the election rather than gifting it to an ‘outsider.’

Valpoi was the only block which pressed for a grand alliance since Vishwajeet Rane is pretty sure that his constituency would not be ‘gifted’ to the alliance partner.

Opposition leader Pratapsing Rane’s Poriem and Digambar Kamat’s Madgao were however silent on the issue, unlike all other blocks which opposed Grand Alliance.

“I am not opposed to alliance. In fact I feel all the like-minded parties should come together under the leadership of the Congress, like the United Progressive Alliance which ruled the country”, says Faleiro.

His statement made it amply clear that the fight is not over alliance but who would be the leader of the alliance.

Faleiro thus announced after the meeting that the final decision regarding grand alliance would be taken only after they complete their ongoing process of shortlisting the candidates by 30th September.

While some like-minded politicians claim that Congress is no more a force, the party leaders feel that the opposition party is regaining its lost glory in several constituencies.

Replying to a pointed question, Faleiro frankly admitted that they are more worried about the game of arm twisting under the garb of alliance than uniting the like-minded.

“Falling prey to the arm twisting games, we gave away our stronghold areas to the NCP in the last election. They did not win the seats, but we lost our base. We don’t want to repeat the same mistake”, he disclosed.

As one survey report has claimed that Congress would win majority seats in the next election, the former rulers have regained hope of coming back to power if they pose themselves as the leaders.

The Congress is today simply not in a mood to agree that it is no more a force.

However, since Aam Aadmi Party is surging ahead as an alternate to the Congress in many constituencies including its stronghold like Salcete, the party seems to be playing its cards in a safe mode.

It is looking at the exercise of candidate-hunting also as an exercise of base-searching.

“We may have lost our cadres today. But Congress is a mass-based party”, Faleiro told the media after the meeting, admitting the bankruptcy of the party, which ruled Goa for over three decades.

Perhaps this is the reason the Congress would decide about the alliance only after it completes the whole exercise of shortlisting candidates at different stages and see who leaves and who remains.

If not, said a responsible party leader, the Congress would be left as a secondary force in the hands of the ‘like-minded’ which would prove a death nail for the national party in Goa.   

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