Congress in tatters ahead of state polls? Resignations hit grand old party in Goa as well

The group, supported by Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, claimed the Congress was not serious about contesting the assembly polls likely to be held in early 2022.

Published: 11th December 2021 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2021 09:40 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

MUMBAI: A spate of resignations hit the Congress in Goa on the day Priyanka Gandhi Vadra landed in the state to kickstart her party’s Assembly poll campaign.

Interacting with tribal women in Morpirla village in Quepem assembly segment, Priyanka promised 30 per cent reservation in jobs for women if the Congress comes to power in the state.

In an indirect dig at AAP and TMC, she cautioned voters against the false promises made by ‘outsiders’ and referred to the pollution in Delhi, where the Aam Aadmi Party is in power.

Earlier in the day, senior South Goa leader Moreno Rebelo and Gupesh Naik, a former zilla panchayat leader from Porvorim, quit the party. Naik led a group of Congressmen in exiting the party, accusing it of being non-serious about the elections in the state. 

Rebelo expressed discontent against the decision to field Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco again.

“He never participated in any party activities...only abused party leaders...but is declared candidate,” he said in his resignation letter.

A group of Congress leaders from the Porvorim assembly constituency tendered their resignations on Friday morning.

The group, supported by Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, claimed the Congress was not serious about contesting the assembly polls likely to be held in early 2022.

"The Congress party does not seem to be interested in contesting the upcoming Goa elections seriously. It is a non-starter due to the attitude of some of its leaders," Gupesh Naik, a former zilla panchayat member, who led the group from Porvorim, told reporters.

In yet another setback for the Congress, its senior leader from South Goa Moreno Rebelo tendered his resignation.

The resignation letter by Rebelo claims he was upset after the party announced the "candidature" to sitting MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco from the Curtorim constituency "despite he working against the party".

Rebelo hails from Curtorim.

"Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who has never participated in any party activity for the last four-and-a-half years and on the contrary only abused party leaders and yourself, worked against the official candidate of Curtorim in the recently held Zilla Panchayat election, is promoted as working president of the party and is declared as a candidate by senior leaders during a recently held convention," Rebelo said in the letter addressed to Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar.

The spate of resignations came after differences emerged in the Congress over the nature of its understanding with the Goa Forward Party (GFP) for the assembly polls.

AICC Goa election in-charge P Chidambaram on Thursday said the GFP had only extended support to the Congress and refused to term it as an alliance at this stage.

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao has proposed a meeting between GFP chief Vijai Sardesai and Chodankar on Saturday.

Talking to reporters in Panaji, Chidambaram had said, "So far we had one party leader Vijai Sardesai who came to Delhi and said, 'in order to defeat BJP, my party offers support to the Congress party'. Rahul Gandhi said we accept the support. All other details have to be discussed further."

Within minutes of his statement, Rao had tweeted, "I have invited Sri @VijaiSardesai, President of @Goaforwardparty for a meeting with Sri @girishgoa, President of @INCGoa and others on 11/12/21, 10 am at Congress Election Office, Patto Plaza, Panjim."

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is scheduled to address various events and interact with youngsters and women during her day-long visit to Goa.

(With PTI Inputs)

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