Quepem News

Closure of mining can impact 10 seats
Navhind Times | 10 months ago | |
Navhind Times
10 months ago | |

People are angry with false assurances given by the BJP govt on restarting operations: Puti GaonkarShoma PatnaikPanaji: With as much as 23% of Goa’s electorate residing in mining-dominated constituencies, the closure of iron ore mining for the last four years is expected to swing votes in a big way in the coming assembly elections. Iron ore mining was stopped on March 16, 2018, after the Supreme Court cancelled 88 leases.“The sudden closure made residents of mining constituencies lose permanent jobs. Many took up alternate jobs. However, the jobs were taken up reluctantly due to lack of choice. Truck drivers employed with mining companies became security guards. The money they previously got by way of bonus, gratuity, PF and medical benefits is not there in their present jobs,” said a resident of the mining belt.Sanvordem, Quepem, Valpoi, Poriem, Sanguem, Curchorem, Quepem, Mayem, Sanquelim and Bicholim, comprising 2.04 lakh voters, are the constituencies with population largely dependent on mining.According to Puti Gaonkar, president, Goa Mining People Front (GMPF), post the closure of mining, not many were re-employed in other industries. “Due to COVID-19, the hospitality industry is also not offering adequate jobs. People are angry with false assurances of restarting mining by the present government. The issue of restarting operations has been made complicated though the Supreme Court order is clear. As dependents, our stand is always to restart mining in any way. If auction is not possible, we welcome the mining corporation. Even there, the government is delaying. They have only fooled the people. It will reflect in the votes,” he said.Atul Jadhav, chairman, CII-Goa, also believes that closure of mines will be an issue in the coming elections because many perceive that not much has been done to restart operations and “whatever has been done has not worked out.”Neelkant Gawas, the All Goa Truck Owners Association, said people in the mining belt had lost faith that the present government would restart work. “Mining dependents now feel the industry has been purposefully stopped to allow entry of Ambani, Adani, Jindal and Vedanta. The government has said that it will export waste ore dumped outside lease areas and give employment to people. It is a statement made without thought because waste dumps have to be used to refill old mining pits to return the land back to its original state. Exporting dumped ore can cause huge ecological problems,” he said.MLAs in the mining belt were worried because of the impact on voter psyche. “The silence of the Union government on a solution to Goa’s mining woes is angering the people,” said Gawas.Environmentalists and eco-tourism stakeholders are happy about the dust-free environment following the closure of mining. On the other hand, large populations in the mining belt do not have alternative sources of income. To re-start mining activities, the government petitioned the Supreme Court for amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDRA) and the Goa, Daman & Diu Mining Concession (Abolitions & Declaration of Mining Leases) Act – Abolition Act, both of which were turned down. The government set up the Goa Mineral Development Corporation, signed an MOU with the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. for identification of iron ore blocks for auction, and appointed SBI Caps as the transaction adviser for the auction process. But with the election code of conduct in force now, the auction process is incomplete.

Closure of mining can impact 10 seats
Goa: Land development on 4 lakh sqm of agricultural and orchard land raises eyebrows in Quepem
Times of India | 10 months ago | |
Times of India
10 months ago | |

Quepem: Over four lakh square metres of contiguous agricultural and orchard land and a hillock that lie within Quepem municipal limits are in the process of being cleared for real estate with some “illegal” structures having already come up here. Councillors of the Quepem Municipal Council (QMC) have cried foul and demanded an inquiry into “the sale of plots in the no-development zone (NDZ)”. A Delhi-based developer allegedly made about 500 plots on the land parcel between Igramoll and Gaonkarwada and sold them. The land stretch comes under various survey numbers and more than 150 mutation entries have been made in the property survey numbers. Under Section 49(6) of the Goa Daman and Diu Town and Country Planning Act, which came into effect from March 2018, an NOC is needed from the town and country planning department to register sale deeds. However, on being questioned, an official from the TCP department at Quepem said they are not authorised to issue NOCs for such non-settlement land. Details furnished by the Quepem civil registration office to an RTI revealed a different story. NOCs had been issued by then deputy town planner Manguirish N Verenkar. With the Quepem TCP office failing to respond to an RTI even 15 months later, information on other aspects continues to remain obscure. Meanwhile, even as controversy has erupted over the legality of the sale deeds, some have already carried out hill cutting on their respective plots and even constructed houses. Any construction activity requires permissions from the respective civic body and in this case the QMC has not received any applications for constructions. QMC engineer, Nitin Khotarkar told TOI that he had issued showcause notices to three persons on March 12 for undertaking illegal construction in the land, which comes under the no-development zone. Khotarkar added that the developer had constructed the road without council’s permission. “Hill cutting is being carried out openly, but the authorities have failed to take action against the developers. This is a blatant act of violation of environmental laws and massive destruction of our ecology and natural resources,” local activist Hilario Fernandes said. Former chairperson and QMC councillor Filu D’Costa had raised the issue during a recent council and demanded that a five-member committee be constituted to investigate the “illegal sale of plots”. QMC councillors alleged that developers are working hand in glove with the authorities and politicians in changing land use for settlement purposes. They criticised the development in the eco-sensitive area saying that the authorities have ignored the disastrous consequences of the act. Earlier, about 2.95 lakh sqm out of the over 4 lakh sqm of the same parcel of non-settlement land had been proposed for construction of 1,856 flats under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Then member secretary of Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA), Tariq Thomas on May, 17, 2019, had sent a proposal to the QMC requesting it to furnish comments for the project. The QMC in its council meeting held on June 18, 2019, had rejected the project after stiff opposition from locals and a group of councillors. Referring to this, Fernandes questioned the present sale of plots on the land by the Delhi-based developer and the subsequent hill-cutting and development there. “How was the builder allowed to sell plots when QMC rejected it? The land is a hill and a natural water source,” he said.

Goa: Land development on 4 lakh sqm of agricultural and orchard land raises eyebrows in Quepem
No space for sellers at Quepems fish, veg mkt
Times of India | 10 months ago | |
Times of India
10 months ago | |

Quepem: Controversy has erupted over the newly-inaugurated Quepem Municipal Council’s (QMC) fish and market building complex over the lack of provisions for fish and vegetable vendors. The QMC, in 2017, had demolished the old dilapidated market building and fish market to make way for a new four-storey complex that was to house fish and vegetable venders on the ground floor, shops and offices on the first floor and a 500-capacity hall on the fourth floor. The Rs 9.6-crore market complex was to have a car parking facility in the basement. During the entire period of the construction, all vendors were accommodated in temporary sheds near the Quepem cemetery. However, following the inauguration, fish and vegetable vendors found that no provisions had been made in the building to accommodate them, despite assurances by the QMC. Interestingly, chief officer Madhu Narvekar, who has been holding the post since 2020, said he is not aware of any such provision. QMC chairperson Suchita Shirvoikar accepted that there were no provision made to accomodate the vendors in the building. She, however, quickly deflected the responsibility saying that the building’s plan was prepared by the previous council. “We will discuss the issue in the next council meeting and accordingly arrangements will be made to accommodate fish vendors in the new building,” Shirvoikar said. QMC councillor Raul Pereira alleged that the building is incomplete and that the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA), which funded the project, hurriedly inaugurated it before the election code of conduct could come into force. Fish vendors told TOI that they will protest in front of the municipality building.

No space for sellers at Quepems fish, veg mkt
Goa electorate grown by more than 45k since 2017 election
Times of India | 10 months ago | |
Times of India
10 months ago | |

Panaji: Goa’s electorate has grown by more than 45,000 persons over a period of five years, with women outnumbering men by 31,460. . The last assembly election in 2017 saw 11,10,884 persons on the electoral rolls, compared to the 11,56,464 names published in the final roll on Wednesday. More than 62% of the addition from 2017 till date are in North Goa. The electorate here has grown by 28,387 persons, and in South Goa, by 17,193. The female electorate has grown faster than their male counterparts, and the difference between the two sexes in the latest roll is almost double that of the 2017 roll. This election year, the female electorate has surpassed male electorate by 31,460 compared to 2017, when the difference between the sexes was only 17,400. Only four persons have been registered as third gender voters, two in North Goa and two in South Goa. The assembly constituency of Vasco continues to have the highest number of voters in the state with 35,139 persons. In North Goa, Pernem has the highest number of voters with 33,145, followed by Poriem with 32,840, Mandrem with 32,655 and Valpoi with 31,762. In South Goa, Canacona has 34,195 electors, Quepem 32,961, Ponda 31,953 and Velim 31,346. The smallest constituency in terms of voters is Mormugao, with 19,958 voters. In North Goa, the smallest constituency is St Andre with 21,327 voters, followed by Panaji with 22,316. In South Goa, after Mormugao, the smallest is Dabolim, with 24,087 voters. The office of the chief electoral officer has appealed to the public and political parties to verify names and details on the electoral roll published on Wednesday, and if they find that any person is registered in more than one place, to share such information with the CEO by email or by filing form 7.

Goa electorate grown by more than 45k since 2017 election
Farmers to benefit from MSP: Tomar
Navhind Times | 10 months ago | |
Navhind Times
10 months ago | |

Staff ReporterMargaoUnion Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said the Centre will invest Rs 11,000 crore in ‘oil palm mission’ to cut the deficit in oil imports, adding farmersfrom Goa, Maharashtra will benefit from minimum support price (MSP), processing units.Speaking at ‘Krishi Mohotsav 2022’, a district-level agriculture festival, organised by Directorate of Agriculture in Quepem, Tomar said while India is surplus in rice and wheat production, the country heavily depends on imports from foreign countries.He said the Centre will invest in production units while farmers will be encouraged to take up palm cultivation due to better minimum support price. He also said the Centre is committed to connect the smaller farmers with technology by investing over Rs 6,865 croreto set up over 10,000 food processing units across the country, adding Goa will also benefit.He said this will revolutionise the growth of small farmers who can sell their products directly to these units, as an initiative by the Prime Minister to double the farmincome by 2022.Hailing‘Swayampurna Goem’ initiative, the Union minister said he is confident that the initiative will have a national footprint and the state has full support from the central government.Speaking exclusively to ‘The Navhind Times’, he said the Centre will compensate farmers owing to the rise in rates, includingdiesel, through revision in minimum support price. He said the government will take into account the impact of the price rise and other factors.Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said Goa has started becoming self-sufficient in agriculture and the only way forward is to promote integrated farming. He said the government has already notified a policyand Rs 20 crore worth loans have been disbursed to dairy farmers.He said so far 9,000 Goan farmers had received six installments of aid under the centrally-sponsored Krishi Samman Yojana and that Goa Biodiversity Board is in the process of setting up a food processing unit in every taluka of the state by next year.These units, he said, will purchase farm products at source and, after processing, the products will yield a good market rate.Deputy Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar said the state government is committed to make Goa self-sufficient in agriculture sector and has provided directsubsidies.He said the efforts are beginning to show results with people across the state including along the coastal belt having taken up agriculture.He said the farmers, who have given up farming due to various reasons, are getting attracted to the traditional occupation again.Subsidy at source helps farmers in a big way, he said, adding the community farming has the benefit of getting 90% subsidy to procure anything related to farming.He said everyone has faced hardships due to COVID pandemic which has still not passed off but the government has continued to support the farmers during these difficult times.Member of Parliament Vinay Tendulkar, chairperson of Quepem Municipal Council Suchita Shirwaikar and others were present.Detailed presentations on various schemes were made by officials of the Department of Agriculture, Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services and other departments.

Farmers to benefit from MSP: Tomar
Union govt aiming for top world agro ranking: Tomar
Times of India | 10 months ago | |
Times of India
10 months ago | |

Quepem: Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said that giving boost to agriculture is the Union government‘s top priority, while chief minister Pramod Sawant assured farmers of installing food processing units at every taluka. Speaking after inaugurating Krishi Mahotsav 2022, a district level agricultural festival organised by the directorate of agriculture at sports complex, Borimoll Quepem on Tuesday, Tomar outlined the steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to aim for the top world ranking in agriculture. Currently, India ranks 10th in the world in agriculture industry, he said. Tomar said that under the Centre, the state government and farmers are working unitedly to boost and stengthen agriculture. He said agriculture’s contribution in the GDP is remarkable, but this needs to be boosted further. The country should not be dependent on imports to make the agriculture sector self-sufficient, he said. “The Union government has increased the loan budgeted for farmers from Rs 6 crore to Rs 16 crore. Even though the country is in the Covid pandemic, our government managed to issue Kisan Credit Cards to over 2.4 lakh farmers,” he added Chief minister Pramod Sawant assured the large number of farmers who were present that the government will install food processing units in every taluka to encourage farmers to sell their daily products, and the government will buy their products at higher than usual rates. Agriculture minister Chandrakant Kavalekar said that many people from Salcete who abandoned farming and agriculture long ago due to various reasons are returning to farming only due to the number of schemes launched by the government.

Union govt aiming for top world agro ranking: Tomar
Civil court restrains Quepem civic body from using new market complex
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Quepem: The inauguration of a new market complex built at a cost of Rs 9.4 crore in Quepem has received a setback as a civil court has granted a temporary injunction restraining Quepem Municipal Council (QMC) from leasing shops or creating third party rights in the new building. Sources said that QMC had planned to inaugurate the new complex before the election code of conduct comes into effect. However, the Cathedral Chapter of Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Old Goa, represented by its administrator Rev canon Fr Alfred Judas Vas, filed a petition in the Quepem civil court praying for a permanent injunction over the newly-constructed building under the provisions of Specific Relief Act, 1963. QMC had demolished the dilapidated market building in 2017, but some councillors had opposed the move Later in 2018, the remaining part was razed to pave way for the new building. Funded by GSUDA, the work of the four-storey building commenced in March 2019. It consists of a basement for car parking, ground floor for fish and vegetable vendors, while the second and third floors are for offices and shops, and the fourth one for a 500-capacity hall. The Cathedral Chapter stated in the petition that they are the lawful owners of the property and acquired right to the property by virtue of will dated November 11, 1834 and approved on January 1, 1835 executed by late Jose Paulo da Costa Pereira d’ Almeida.

Civil court restrains Quepem civic body from using new market complex
Goa’s rurban mission work set to start after 5 years delay
Navhind Times | 11 months ago | |
Navhind Times
11 months ago | |

2 playgrounds to be developed, smart classrooms built, solar poles laid under Xeldem-Barcem clusterRoque Dias | NTMargao: Around five years after the launch of the Shyama Prasad Mukerjee Rurban Mission by the Centre, the state rural development agency (RDA) has finally paved the way to start work on four out of 54 works proposed under the Xeldem-Barcem cluster in Quepem.Work on development of playgrounds at Avedem and Xeldem in Quepem, development of smart classrooms of eight government high schools in rural areas and installation of solar lamp poles in all the 11 panchayat areas listed in the Xeldem-Barcem cluster will commence in the first week of January 2022.The central government had allocated two clusters – one in Xeldem-Barcem in Quepem constituency for South and Saligao area in North Goa as part of 300 clusters allocated across the country under the scheme that was introduced by the Centre in 2016.The main objective of the scheme is to stimulate local economic development, enhance basic services and take up well-planned progress to largely benefit the locals.Stating that the works on all the four projects will start on January 7, state RDA official Chinmay Morajkar said, “We are taking the expenditure sanction by December 28 and the work orders will be issued by December 30 before the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct.”Work on a total of 20 projects under the Xeldem-Barcem cluster is likely to start by the end of January and completed within a year.Interestingly, the Saligao cluster is still in the planning state. Morajkar said that the central RDA ministry’s approval is awaited, adding, “Once the approval is granted, funds would be released. Developing of the Saligao cluster will take some time.”The central government has proposed to develop the cluster on a 60-40 per cent Centre-state funding basis. Each cluster was to be developed in three phases expending Rs 10 crore in each phase.With no headway for first two years, secretary of Union Ministry of RDA had issued a warning to Goa Chief Secretary on January 23, 2018 that if he is not serious on executing the two sanctioned clusters, the central government would re-allocate them to other deserving states. Things started moving thereafter, but again got stuck. There was also a long delay in giving the state share of Rs 3.60 crore for the Xeldem-Barcem cluster.Much time was also lost in verifying the proposed projects since the same were also taken up by village panchayats, PWD and other agencies. The RDA officials said that they could not do much in the year 2020 and first half of the year 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic.The scheme that was introduced by the Centre in 2016 only months prior to the state Assembly election of 2017 is taking shape at a time when the state is preparing for yet another election though the Centre had planned to complete the works within three years.

Goa’s rurban mission work set to start after 5 years delay
Congress releases first list of candidates for Goa assembly polls
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

PANAJI: The Congress party on Thursday released its first list of candidates for the upcoming state assembly elections which are likely to be held in February. The party has named eight contenders for the assembly polls with Congress legislature party leader Digambar Kamat and Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco being given the go ahead. The announcement of the Congress candidate list marks a significant departure from the earlier trend when the party would release the names of the candidates at the last minute and closer to the final date for nomination. First list of Goa Congress candidates for the Assembly Elections 2022 https://t.co/yNS4S1GDky— Goa Congress (@INCGoa) 1639664248000“We had promised that we would give fresh faces and if you see the first list most of them are fresh faces. Today we have announced much in advance, and here the Congress has announced the names much before the other parties,” said state Congress president Girish Chodankar. The Congress has picked Sudhir Kandolkar for Mapusa constituency, former Corporation of the city of Panaji mayor Tony Rodrigues for Taleigao, Rajesh Verenkar for Ponda, Sankalp Amonkar for Mormugao, Yuri Alemao for Cuncolim and Altone D’Costa for Quepem. Chodankar said that the second list of candidates will come at a later stage once the Pradesh Election Committee and the Central Election Committee arrive at a consensus on the candidates. On November 21 the Congress party had said that it would announce the first list of its candidates by the November end or first week of December. Chodankar had said that the process to pick candidates had gained momentum as a screening committee has been set up by the AICC. Chodankar had said that he party would field young and new candidates in the coming polls and that MLAs who had defected and joined other parties would not be considered.

Congress releases first list of candidates for Goa assembly polls
Citizens question shelving of Old Goa masterplans
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Panaji: While the satyagraha at Old Goa entered its 20th day, many citizens from the Quepem and Calangute constituencies joined the fast as issues of a masterplan for the old city and demolition of an illegal structure resurfaced on Monday. A significant part of the issues raised during the satyagraha on Monday was the plan prepared for Old Goa in 2016 by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), an organisation pursuing heritage awareness and conservation. Another plan was prepared for the former capital by the Charles Correa Foundation with former chief town planner Edgar Ribeiro, in 2020. “Why have all these masterplans been shelved?” Alton D’Costa from Quepem asked. He was among citizens from Quitol, Fatorpa, Barcem and Quepem who showed solidarity to the ongoing hunger strike. Others were from Arpora, Parra, Calangue and Candolim. The Save Old Goa Action Committee, a group of activists and heritage lovers, has been demanding a masterplan for Old Goa since 2011. Haphazard development continued as the world heritage site was stripped of green cover, impacting the character of the place. D’Costa urged deputy chief minister Chandrakant Kavlekar, who holds the town and country planning portfolio, to update the regional plan within a week in order to protect Old Goa. While residents of Calangute wondered about the seriousness of their MLA Michael Lobo’s demand for demolition of the illegal structure in the protected area, they reiterated their stand on getting the site cleared up. Although the Old Goa panchayat has initiated the process for it, it has been progressing at a slow pace, the citizens said.

Citizens question shelving of Old Goa masterplans
Over 5k students likely to attend Vigyan Mahotsav
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Panaji: The third edition of Manohar Parrikar Vigyan Mahotsav will be held on Monday across the state at eight different venues. Over 5,000 students are likely to attend the event. The first lecture will be delivered virtually by former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation Prof K Kasturirangan on ‘Space — A promising human endeavour’. It will be followed by an online lecture by 2009 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Prof Ada Yonath on ‘Next Generation Antibiotics’. Prof Ashutosh Sharma will deliver a talk on ‘Science and innovation in the new millennium’ at NIO, Dona Paula. Each talk will have a question and answer session at the end where the speaker will clarify and explain issues raised by the audience. Students across various institutions in the state, including Don Bosco College of Engineering, Goa Vidyaprasarak College of Education, government colleges of arts and science (Quepem, Sakhali, Pernem), Government Higher Secondary School, Canacona and BITS, Zuarinagar. More than 5.000 students and academicians are expected to attend this event across the state and all safety measures as required to be observed due to Covid will be followed, advisory committee and organising committee chairman and Goa Public Service Commission chairman Jose Manuel Noronha told TOI. The programme is being organised by the state science and technology department and is assisted by IIT Goa, NIT Goa, BITS Goa, Goa State Innovation Council, Goa University, besides various other government departments. The inaugural function will be held at NIO from 9.30am to 10.15am.

Over 5k students likely to attend Vigyan Mahotsav
2,000 fraud voters trying to enrol on Quepem list, alleges Congress
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Quepem: The Quepem Congress block on Thursday submitted a memorandum to assistant returning officer and Quepem mamlatdar Pratap Gaonkar alleging that around 2,000 new voters have fraudulently applied to enrol on the constituency’s electoral roll. Congress functionary and aspirant of the party’s ticket, Altone D’Costa told reporters that have learnt that more than 1,000 migrants voters have applied for enrolment without cancelling their voting cards from their native state. The enrolment drive was held from November 1 to November 30, during which period the Quepem mamlatdar’s office received around 2,500 news application for enrolment. “We don’t want bogus migrant voters. Only genuine voters will elect our leaders. The government must delete these names within 15 days or else we shall be constrained to agitate and come on the road to protest the illegalities,” D’Costa said. Between November 27 and November 30, the mamlatdar’s office received 1,183 applications, of which around 90% were that of migrants who are voters in their native states, D’Costa alleged. Congress functionary Altino Gomes said that they have brought the fraudulently applications to the notice of the assistant returning officer with documentary evidence. Gaonkar said that he will start scrutiny of all names from Monday. “There are around 600 forms without proper documentation. I will take a personal hearing of the applicants who are above 25 years of age and will ask them to produce valid documents. Applications will be rejected if documents are forged,” he said. As per the guidelines last date of disposal of claims and objections is December 20, 2021 and final elections role will be publish on January 5, 2022.

2,000 fraud voters trying to enrol on Quepem list, alleges Congress
Goa: Land development issues rock Xeldem meet
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Quepem: The gram sabha held at Xeldem on Sunday witnessed heated arguments between locals, the sarpanch, panch members and the panchayat secretary over permission issued to a building and the development of an open space. Sarpanch Caetan da Lima announced that the meeting was postponed as they were not allowed to conduct a gram sabha in the absence of a BDO observer. However, those present at the venue insisted that he conduct the meeting. Former panchayat member Caetan Carvalho demanded that the permission issued to a builder for a commercial building at Novimodi in Tilamoll be revoked it was blocking access to over 70 houses. In 2020, acting on a complaint, the panchayat had issued a stop work order to the builder. Carvalho alleged that the builder then produced a revised plan and his proposal was approved without holding a meeting of the panchayat body. Refuting the charges, the sarpanch said, “We will send notices and conduct a site inspection in the presence of a technical person.” Meanwhile, residents of a housing board colony opposed the development of an open space claiming that the space belonged them. Other villagers, however, said that everybody had a right to it as it was under the jurisdiction of the panchayat. Interestingly, the housing board had handed over the space to the Xeldem panchayat which has started developing sporting facilities including a volleyball court, a football ground and a garden.

Goa: Land development issues rock Xeldem meet
Sanguem Cong block opposes Gaonkars entry
Times of India | 11 months ago | |
Times of India
11 months ago | |

Quepem: Sanguem Congress block unanimously opposed independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar’s proposed entry into the party stating that he had changed three parties in three months. Congress functionaries criticised opposition leader Digambar Kamat for accompanying Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai and Gaonkar to Delhi to meet Rahul Gandhi. “Kamat should have taken them to Delhi in 2017 to form the Congress government when Congress was short of four MLAs. Sardesai’s three MLAs and Gaonkar’s support was needed to form the government, but these four supported BJP. Kamat betrayed Congress workers by accompanying these people to Delhi,” former SMC councillor Sandesh Kosambe said. Youth congress president Jervis Fernandes said that Gaonkar’s brother along with both of their supporters joined Congress just three month ago, but later shifted to Trinamool Congress (TMC). “Gaonkar had categorically stated that TMC is the only party that can give a fight to BJP’s Modi government at the Centre and in states. Now why is the same person wanting to join hands with Congress?” Fernandes said that the Sanguem Congress block has submitted names of 14 aspirants to the party, of which five are those of serious candidates. “We will welcome anyone, but we will oppose tooth and nail if Gaonkar gets the party ticket,” Kosambe said. “Congress central observer P Chidambaram said only loyal party workers will get the ticket on the recommendation of block committee members. We are confident that Congress will stick to its words and not give tickets to new entrants,” he said. Congress spokesperson Rakhi Prabhudessai Naik said that Gaonkar has failed to perform as a MLA and Sanguem is without development.

Sanguem Cong block opposes Gaonkars entry