Rahul Gandhi News

Punjab: AAP minister demands judicial probe by SC judge into ‘Operation Lotus’ by BJP
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

Amid Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) allegations against BJP of trying to topple the Punjab government by poaching its MLAs, finance minister Harpal Cheema Thursday demanded a judicial probe into ‘Operation Lotus’ by a Supreme Court judge.Addressing the media here, Cheema said, “Not only Punjab, BJP indulged in poaching in other states like Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Assam. In all these states where the Operation Lotus took place should also be a part of investigation.”He was reacting to BJP leaders’ meeting with Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit demanding a probe into AAP allegations against BJP.Cheema refused to give names of the BJP leaders against whom they had submitted an evidence to the police after which an FIR was registered by the Punjab Police Wednesday. “We have got the FIR registered. We will make the names public only after a thorough investigation is done. If we give out the names now, the Opposition will distort the facts.”He also took a dig at Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and said both the parties are questioning AAP instead of questioning the BJP. “Both the parties are asking AAP for evidence to support their claim although Congress is facing defections in Goa which itself is a proof,” Cheema said.“But they (Congress) did not say anything against the BJP because their party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are facing probes by the ED and the CBI. That is why the Congress did not open its mouth and others kept hitting at AAP seeking evidence,” said Cheema.He added that he wants to ask Congress and SAD if they have lost faith in democracy because when BJP is “murdering it” then neither of the parties are opposing it. He said he can understand SAD’s reason to defend BJP as they have been alliance partners before. “SAD leader Bikram Majithia had been working as a spokesperson of BJP,” Cheema said.Cheema claimed AAP is the only party in which MLAs are not selling themselves. “BJP tried Operation Lotus in Delhi and now in Punjab. But it failed at both the places,” he said.

Punjab: AAP minister demands judicial probe by SC judge into ‘Operation Lotus’ by BJP
Bharat Jodo Yatra: Cong hints at East-West tour after Kanyakumari to Kashmir trip
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

As the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, led by Rahul Gandhi, completed a week, the party indicated on Thursday that it could embark on another yatra – from Gujarat in the West to Arunachal Pradesh in the East – after the completion of this yatra next year.The party argued that the yatra has created a new “image” for the Congress and is set to transform Indian politics while strengthening the Congress’s party organisation.Addressing a media interaction in Kerala’s Kollam, AICC general secretary in charge of communication Jairam Ramesh said, “It is possible that with the success of this yatra, next year we will have an East to West yatra. Because in India whenever you do something there will be people asking you why are you not doing something else? For everything you do, there are five questions why you are not doing this. So I want to take this head-on and say it is possible that in 2023 the yatra will be from Porbandar in Gujarat to Parshuram Kund in Arunachal Pradesh. It is possible that we will have this yatra.”He said such mass contact programmes are the only way to transform Indian politics. “I believe the Bharat Jodo Yatra will transform Indian politics and strengthen the Congress party organisation. And the manner in which the BJP is attacking the yatra every day… The BJP has been doing Bharat thodo for a long time… Now it is doing Congress thodo. What happened in Goa, for instance, is an example of the diversion that the BJP wants to create. One day container, second day T-shirt, third day shoes, fourth day something else, fifth day Goa… they will do this every day to divert the people’s attention away from Bharat Jodo Yatra,” Ramesh said.

Bharat Jodo Yatra: Cong hints at East-West tour after Kanyakumari to Kashmir trip
Goa: Wounded, Congress counts on judiciary to stall merger
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PANAJI: Sucker punched by the move of eight of its MLAs, Congress said it will fight it out in the courts. The party said that it will question the legality of the merger in the court after studying the documents submitted by the eight MLAs to justify the merger. The party will also pursue the two disqualification petitions moved against Calangute MLA Michael Lobo and Margao MLA Digambar Kamat and will also try to challenge their inclusion while calculating the two thirds criteria required to meet the merger requirements. "It is not that I am not hurt. I am deeply pained by what has happened," state party president Amit Patkar said. "First there used to be a midnight murder of democracy but today they are so brazen that they have started doing it in the day light." The party was caught off guard by Wednesday's development. As it scrambled to make sense of its predicament, which comes at a time when Rahul Gandhi is leading a nation wide Bharat Jodo walking rally, Patkar insisted that the party will bounce back. Aldona MLA Carlos Ferreira said that Congress will challenge the merger claim. "If two thirds of the MLAs of the legislature wing go, there is no merger. The matter filed by Girish Chodankar against the 10 MLAs who defected and joined BJP in 2019 is pending before the Supreme Court. The matter will come up in October and November," Ferreira said. Patkar claimed that BJP rushed to poach the Congress MLAs after seeing the success of the Bharat Jodo rally. The Congress central leadership, which is expected to rush to Goa in the coming days, echoed similar sentiments. "The kind of inducements, offerings that BJP was putting forward was shocking," said Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao. "Operation Kichad of BJP in Goa has been fast tracked because of the visible success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra," said senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. "BJP is nervous. A daily dose of diversion and disinformation is handed out to undermine the yatra. We remain undeterred. We will overcome these dirty tricks of BJP."

Goa: Wounded, Congress counts on judiciary to stall merger
‘Divine consent’ to ‘changed situation’: Cong ‘loyalty’ pledge swept by Goa defection wave
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

After defecting to the ruling BJP Wednesday, Congress veteran and former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, when asked about the breach of the loyalty pledge taken by party candidates before the state Assembly elections, said he has switched to the saffron party fold with “divine consent”.“About the oath which I had taken before God, I have gone before God and the Goddess and said that this (joining BJP) is in my mind. What should I do? In Goa, we have a system of taking prasad. Then God said you go ahead, don’t worry,” Kamat told reporters in Panaji, as he walked out of the state BJP headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.Along with Kamat, seven other Congress MLAs, including Michael Lobo, defected to the BJP, pulling the party’s tally in the 40-member Assembly down to just 3 now.In the run-up to the February 14 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress, on January 22, took 36 of its election candidates to the Mahalaxmi temple in Panaji and the Holy Cross Shrine in Bambolim, while the 34 men in the group also went to the Hamza Shah Dargah in Betim, to pledge that if elected they would remain in the party through the term and not defect.The grand old party, which has been in the Opposition in Goa since 2012, had made this move in view of the 2019 exodus – when 10 of its 15 MLAs had crossed over to the BJP overnight –as it sought to assure voters that such defections would not be repeated.However, barely six months later, in July, the Congress had again found itself in the middle of a defection storm, when it accused Kamat and the then Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Michael Lobo of conspiring with the BJP to engineer the defection of at least eight of its 11 MLAs. The party also removed Lobo as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and filed petitions before the Assembly Speaker to seek the disqualification of the two senior leaders.The All India Congress Committee (AICC) had then managed to defuse the crisis by sending party general seretary Mukul Wasnik to Goa. A week later, the Congress flew down its five MLAs to Chennai for a weekend “to avoid pressure tactics and threats.” The AICC’s Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao had said that the MLAs were in Tamil Nadu, where the Congress is part of the ruling DMK-led alliance, “voluntarily to avoid incessant attempts, continuous calls, pressure tactics and threats” made by the BJP. Two of these five Congress MLAs, Sankalp Amonkar and Rudolfo Fernandes, were among the eight who defected Wednesday.Both Lobo and Kamat were part of the group that took the loyalty pledge back in January. “At the feet of Goddess Mahalaxmi, all 36 of us pledge that we will remain loyal to the Congress party that has given us tickets. We pledge that the elected candidates will remain with the party in all circumstances …,” the candidates said at the temple.Following a similar pledge at the Bambolim Cross, the 34 men in the group offered a chaadar at the dargah. The pledge was widely publicised by the Congress to assure voters that this time its MLAs could be trusted not to switch sides. At the time, Kamat said, “We are very serious about this and will not allow any party to poach our MLAs. We are god-fearing people. We have full faith in the Almighty. Hence, today we have taken a pledge that we will not defect.”The Congress candidates made the same declaration in an affidavit signed in the presence of top party leader Rahul Gandhi on February 4. The party’s then ally Goa Forward Party also signed a declaration of loyalty. All this drew derision from the BJP, which asked how the Congress expected voters to trust its candidates if it did not trust them.On Wednesday, as the eight defectors joined the BJP after the Congress’s Legislature Party moved a resolution to merge with the BJP, they were reminded of the pledge they had taken with folded hands in places of worship. Lobo, who returned to the BJP following an eight-month stint with the Congress, said, “Circumstances were different when we took the oath.” His wife Delilah said, “We took the oath saying that we will stay with the Congress and keep BJP out of power. But they (BJP) are already in power.”Mormugao MLA Sankalp Amonkar, who had defeated former BJP minister Milind Naik after making an “expose” about his alleged sex scandal last year, was welcomed with firecrackers in his constituency. He said, “It’s been six months since I won the election. I saw that people’s expectations could not be met since I was in Opposition. When I spoke to the people who supported me all along and we took this decision (to join BJP) unconditionally. I took the decision to join BJP for the development of my constituency. I have also gone to the temple and taken blessings of God.” He also said that he was hurt that despite serving the Congress for over two decades, the party made Lobo, a new entrant, the leader of the Legislature Party. “I am not the only one who took oath. Everyone has and everyone knows it but we took the decision in the interest of the constituency.”“It’s been a hard decision to take,” said Nuvem MLA Aleixo Sequeira. “After giving it serious thought I came to the conclusion that I should join the BJP. I know with this decision I have hurt many of my voters, to them I say sorry for letting you down. I hope over a period of time they will forgive me and I hope I will fulfil the expectations of those voters who said I should join BJP. Some have called me to congratulate me and some have called to curse me. But I have to take it in my stride,” Sequeira told a news channel.Saligao MLA Kedar Naik said, “We did take the oath to stay together if we form government. But today the situation is such that we won’t be able to carry out any work if we stay in the Congress. And that is why we decided that two-thirds of the Legislature Party has to be merged.”Cumbhajua MLA Rajesh Phal Dessai, seen more than once at the BJP office over the last few months, said, “We had taken the oath but people of constituency said that I need to do something for them. We have to listen to the people who come to us. We have got more power now.”At an event in Margao then, Rahul Gandhi had said, “That (pledge) function was a demonstration of intent. It does not mean we do not trust our candidates. It is a demonstration that, we feel, we have a group of candidates who have integrity and who are going to work to form a government.”Rahul also defended the party’s stance to shut its doors to the MLAs who had defected in 2019, even those comfortably placed to win their seats. “The people of Goa said they don’t want defectors and we accepted that with all our heart … the decision about defectors is not wrong. It is 100 per cent right,” he said.However, with fear of divine retribution failing to prevent another attempt at a mass defection of its MLAs to the ruling party in early July, the Congress had then despatched Wasnik to Goa for quelling the rebellion and resolving the crisis.Wasnik, accompanied by Dinesh Gundu Rao and state unit president Amit Patkar, had met Lobo, Delilah, and MLAs Kedar Naik and Rajesh Faldessai. Except for Kamat, all other Congress MLAs had met Wasnik – first for a meeting of the Legislature Party, and then for one-on-one discussions. After the meetings, Lobo, who had been labelled a “traitor” by the Congress, reiterated that he was still in the party while Patkar said Lobo and Kamat had changed their stance because they failed to get eight MLAs to their side in order to dodge the anti-defection law. Both Kamat and Lobo had been with the BJP earlier too.The Congress had then averted a disaster, but soon after Goa’s season of heavy downpours the dark clouds of defection again returned to engulf the party two months down the line.On Wednesday, Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted: “People of Goa voted for these MLAs as they were @INCIndia candidates. They had sworn in front of temples, church & Dargah that they will not defect to BJP. They have affidavits that they’ll always be with the Congress and took a pledge on the Constitution. Isn’t this the height of betrayal and shamelessness by @digambarkamat, @MichealLobo76 and the others?” He added, “If BJP thinks that by doing #OperationKhichad in #Goa they are going to get stronger, then they will be in for a surprise. People of India are witnessing their unholy & corrupt politics. Their Jar of sins in filling up. The people will fight back. We will fight back.”

‘Divine consent’ to ‘changed situation’: Cong ‘loyalty’ pledge swept by Goa defection wave
Congress attacks Smriti Irani over Goa bar; she hits back, dares Rahul Gandhi
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

Accusing her daughter of running a restaurant-bar in Goa “illegally”, with the licence procured “fraudulently” in the name of a deceased person, the Congress Saturday demanded resignation of Union minister Smriti Irani. Calling it a “malicious” accusation, Irani hit back, saying that her daughter was the target only because “her mother does press conferences against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi”.“The allegation that my daughter runs an illegal bar is malicious with the intent not only to assassinate her character but also to politically malign me,” Irani said.She added: “And to the Gandhi family, which directed that this press conference [by Congress] be held against my child, I tell you this, send Rahul Gandhi back to fight the Lok Sabha election in 2024 from Amethi and he will lose again. That is my promise as a BJP worker and as a mother to that 18-year-old. I will see them in the court of law.”In a statement, her daughter’s lawyer, Kirat Nagra, said his client was neither an owner nor operating the restaurant in question, Silly Souls Café and Bar in North Goa’s Assagao.These remarks came after Congress leaders showed a show-cause notice issued to the bar and alleged that the Excise Department official who issued the notice is reportedly being transferred under pressure. Nagra stated that his client had not received any show-cause notice from any authority whatsoever.Addressing the media in Delhi, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said: “In Goa, a restaurant run by her daughter, it has a bar…it is accused of procuring a licence fraudulently. The licence is in the name of a person who died in May 2021 and…was procured in June (2022). In the name of that person, Smriti Irani’s daughter took the licence.”Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan M Gad had issued a show-cause notice to Silly Souls Café and Bar on July 21 based on a complaint filed by lawyer Aires Rodrigues, who alleged that the eatery’s liquor licence was renewed in the name of one Anthony Dgama — his death certificate, issued by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, was annexed to Rodrigues’s complaint.Gad had sought a reply from the restaurant in seven days.In Panaji, state Congress chief Amit Patkar addressed the media and showed a video clip of a purported show in which Irani’s daughter was interviewed as a “young entrepreneur”, and Silly Souls introduced as “her restaurant.”Nagra said that Irani’s daughter “has no control or oversight into the management and affairs of the eatery and her limited interaction at the facility was only while doing an internship program with the chef of Silly Souls Café.”In Delhi, Irani said, “An 18-year-old child, a college student, her character today was assassinated by Congressmen…. They claim that the mutilations stemmed from a show cause notice. I want to ask that Congressperson where is the name of my daughter in the papers that he flashed?”She also said: “It is done at the directions, as was obviously stated by Pawan Khera, of the Congress leadership, namely the Gandhi family, because I had the audacity to hold a press conference to question Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the (Rs) 5,000 crore loot of the Indian treasury [in the national herald case’….So the gentlemen who sat there, giggled as they assassinated my daughter’s character, I will see you in the court of law and in the court of the people….”(Inputs from PTI, Delhi)

Congress attacks Smriti Irani over Goa bar; she hits back, dares Rahul Gandhi
Cong: Action in National Herald case ‘undemocratic’
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

Panaji: Goa Congress condemned the alleged “undemocratic” detention of its senior office bearers and arrests of several others from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Delhi office on Wednesday with regards to the National Herald case. The Goa Congress unit will participate in the nationwide protest call given by the party to denounce the BJP government’s autocratic functioning on Thursday, state Congress president, Amit Patkar, said. “The undemocratic functioning of the BJP-led government is bad for the democracy of the country. We strongly condemn its action,” he said, adding that several senior functionaries were detained and women functionaries manhandled. On Wednesday around 1 pm police marched into AICC office in Delhi and lathi charged and thrashed office bearers and arrested them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah ought to give explanation for the alleged undemocratic actions of their government, he said. Patkar also stated that there was no substance in the National Herald case, the basis of which the BJP government has gone into an overdrive against Gandhis. It was clear from the affidavits filed by Congress president Sonial Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi before the ECI for the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary polls, he said. “Had the assets of the National Herald as claimed by BJP been transferred in the name of Gandhis, the same would have been reflected in the affidavits. False allegations have been levelled against the Gandhis even as the ECI had given a clean chit,” Patkar said. He said the falsification should be stopped and the government must focus on burning issues before the nation. Bina Naik, head of Goa Congress Mahila president joined in slamming the BJP government and said that it was really unfortunate that even women functionaries were not spared, and several manhandled.

Cong: Action in National Herald case ‘undemocratic’
Rahul Gandhi discusses party restructuring in Goa
Navhind Times | 5 months ago | |
Navhind Times
5 months ago | |

Panaji: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday held a meeting in Delhi with party leaders on restructuring the party organisation in Goa and also on appointment of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.A national Congress leader, who had camped in Goa during the recently held Assembly elections, told this daily that Gandhi met senior leader from Goa, Girish Chodankar, All India Congress Committee general secretary K. C. Venugopal and Congress MP Rajani Patil. Former Union finance minister, who was the senior AICC observer to Goa for 2022 Assembly polls, P. Chidambaram and AICC secretary in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao also attended the meeting that took place at 4.30 p.m. at Gandhi’s residence in the national capital.“During the meeting, suggestions made to Rajani Patil by party functionaries and MLAs from Goa were discussed and everybody’s including Girish Chodankar’s viewpoints were taken by Rahul Gandhi,” the leader said.“The discussions were not just for the appointment of CLP leader but complete state leadership overhaul. It was basically a complete restructuring of the PCC Goa,” he added. The central leader further said that the party will soon appoint the CLP leader. It is pertinent to note that after the defeat in the February 14 elections, the party leadership had appointed Patil as a central observer who was tasked with assessing the post-poll situation in Goa and suggesting changes in the party’s state unit. Sources in the party said Chodankar was summoned to Delhi by the party high command after Congress MLAs on Tuesday passed a resolution authorising interim AICC president Sonia Gandhi to select the CLP leader.Chodankar has already resigned as the president of GPCC taking the moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi discusses party restructuring in Goa
Fuel price hike BJPs anti-people agenda: Congress
Times of India | 6 months ago | |
Times of India
6 months ago | |

Margao: Reacting to the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG, Congress termed the BJP government “insensitive” and “irresponsible” saying that it has “once again displayed its anti-people agenda by raising fuel prices immediately after assembly elections”. Congress general secretary and Cuncolim MLA Yuri Alemao and GPCC media cell chairman Amarnath Panjikar in a joint statement on Tuesday also criticised BJP for the delay in government formation in the state. Referring to an earlier tweet of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wherein he had appealed to the people to fill their fuel tanks anticipating price hikes after assembly polls in five states, Alemao said that Gandhi was proved right once again. “Better late than never Narendra Modi ji. You have once again foolfilled the jumlas of BJP. Awaiting roadshow from vibrant Smriti Irani today,” Alemao’s tweet read. Alemao also slammed acting chief minister Pramod Sawant over his announcement that the swearing-in of the new government will be held on March 28. “Convenience of the people of Goa is more important than the convenience of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP Leaders. Goa wants a full-fledged government in place immediately. Stop wasteful expenditure on event management and hold swearing-in in the darbar hall of Raj Bhavan immediately,” Alemao said in another tweet. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has played a cruel joke on the citizens by hiking petrol, diesel and LPG prices. BJP’s election jumlas stand exposed,” Panjikar said. Both Alemao and Panjikar appealed to the people to question BJP over its “anti-people agenda” and to demand that BJP MLAs adopt austerity measures as the state treasury has “already been emptied by the previous BJP government”.

Fuel price hike BJPs anti-people agenda: Congress
  • Congress criticises BJP over fuel, LPG price hike
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterMargaoThe Congress on Tuesday took to criticising the BJP over the central government’s recent fuel, LPG price and the state government’s delay in formation of the government.The party’s recently elected MLA from Cuncolim, Yuri Alemao took to criticising the BJP calling it insensitive and irresponsible and calling the developments an ‘anti- people agenda’.“The most insensitive, irresponsible BJP government has once again displayed its anti-people agenda by increasing petrol, diesel and LPG cylinder prices immediately after the assembly elections. The convenience of the people is paramount above the convenience of BJP leaders. The Goa Government›s swearing-in must be done immediately,” said Alemao.In a joint statement released by Alemao and GPCC media cell chairman Amarnath Panjikar, the party also referred to a tweet from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi earlier this month.“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on March 5 had appealed to the people to make their fuel tanks full anticipating a fuel price hikes after the assembly polls in five states. He has been proved right again. As for the swearing in on March 28, the convenience of the people of Goa is paramount compared to the convenience of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and other BJP leaders. Goa wants a full-fledged government in place immediately. Stop wasteful expenditure on event management and hold the swearing-in at the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan immediately,” said Alemao.Panjikar meanwhile said that even before the BJP government could be sworn-in, it had played a cruel joke on the citizens of the country by hiking petrol, diesel and LPG prices. The BJP’s election ‘jumlas’ stand exposed, he said.Both the leaders appealed to the people to question the BJP over its anti-people agenda and also demand that the BJP MLA›s to adopt austerity measures as the State’s treasury was made empty by the previous BJP government.

Girish Chodankar resigns over Congress defeat
Navhind Times | 6 months ago | |
Navhind Times
6 months ago | |

A senior leader of the party says the resignation has been acceptedPanaji: With Congress party facing defeat in the Assembly elections, Goa Pradesh Congress committee president Girish Chodankar on Tuesday tendered his resignation to the party high command in Delhi.A senior leader in the Congress party confirmed that Chodankar has sent his resignation through an email to All India Congress Committee interim president Sonia Gandhi.The leader claimed that Chodankar quit the top post taking moral responsibility for the defeat in the Assembly polls and went on to add that his resignation has been “accepted” by the central leadership.It is pertinent to note that Chodankar had resigned in June 2019 after the then national Congress president Rahul Gandhi stepped down taking moral responsibility for the big defeat in Lok Sabha elections.The GPCC and the Congress Legislative Party then had jointly passed a resolution urging Rahul Gandhi not to persist with his resignation and to continue to remain as the president of the All India Congress Committee.And as Rahul Gandhi refused to withdraw his resignation, after a month long wait Chodankar had tendered his resignation.But Chodankar’s resignation was rejected by the AICC and he had continued at the top job at the state level for the party. Subsequently, after facing defeat in the Zilla Parishad polls Chodankar submitted his resignation, however it was again rejected by the central party leadership.The Congress party, which contested the ZPelections in 37 segments, suffered a big defeat as they managed to bag only four seats. Despite repeated attempts, this reporter could not establish contact with Chodankar for comments.

Girish Chodankar resigns over Congress defeat
Goa elections: In South, Quepems Altone is Congresss only new face to win
Times of India | 6 months ago | |
Times of India
6 months ago | |

MARGAO: Of the several new faces Congress fielded in South Goa, only one managed to win. Altone D’Costa (Quepem) who defeated former deputy chief minister Chandrakant Kavlekar in his debut elections, was the party’s sole victorious new face. Sankalp Amonkar (Mormugao) and Yuri Alemao (Cuncolim) who also won the polls for the first time, had contested earlier polls. Among those new faces who lost narrowly are Amit Patkar (Curchorem), Savio D’Silva (Velim) and Rajesh Verenkar (Ponda). Patkar lost to former power minister Nilesh Cabral by a slender margin of 672 votes. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had addressed Patkar’s public rally in Curchorem a few days ahead of the polls, which also helped him come within striking distance of victory. Patkar’s defeat notwithstanding, political observers said that his vigorous election campaign helped revitalise the Congress camp in Curchorem. In Velim, Congress candidate Savio D’Silva was defeated by AAP’s Cruz Silva by a slim margin of 169 votes. AAP’s consistent groundwork in Velim over the last few years since it made its debut in the state’s assembly polls in 2017, paid dividends for the party this time. Significantly, Filipe Nery Rodrigues, a former minister in the outgoing government, who contested on an NCP ticket, was pushed to a miserable fifth position, largely owing to a robust performance by RG. Congress’ Rajesh Verenkar came a close third in Ponda where MGP’s Ketan Bhatikar lost to BJP’s Ravi Naik by a wafer thin margin of 77 votes. Verenkar closely trailed Bhatikar by less than 600 votes.

Goa elections: In South, Quepems Altone is Congresss only new face to win
  • Victory margins under 1,000 votes in 10 constituencies in Goa
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: For a large part during the vote counting process on March 10, it had seemed like chief minister Pramod Sawant may be defeated by Congress’ Dharmesh Saglani in Sanquelim constituency. However, towards the final leg of counting, the proverbial tables turned, and Sawant was declared a winner by a margin of 666 votes. At the 2022 polls, Sawant was not the only one. At least ten candidates have won their seats by a narrow margin — wafer thin in some cases. After Sawant’s Sanquelim constituency, the most entertaining turned out to be the fight for the Ponda seat. Here, veteran Ravi Naik was almost toppled by MGP’s young candidate Ketan Bhatikar. But, after one of the rounds saw Bhatikar leading by just one vote, Naik asked for a recount, and the veteran won the seat for BJP by a margin of 77 votes. The margin was similarly dangerously thin in St Andre, where Viresh Borkar made history by winning the first ever seat for the newbee Revolutionary Goans (RG) Party by 76 votes only. Borkar defeated BJP’s Francis Silveira, who is now left blaming non-resident Goans for persuading family members in St Andre to vote for RG. Cruz Silva in Velim constituency also made history, winning a seat for AAP after Congress’s Savio D’Silva fell short by 170 votes. Independent Chandrakant Shetye was yet another newcomer who frustrated MGP’s Naresh Sawal in Bicholim, winning the seat by a margin of 318 votes. In Panaji, BJP candidate Atanasio Monserrate went public with his annoyance over the low margin of victory. Monserrate said BJP workers had worked against him leaving him sweating outside the counting centre until his win was declared by a margin of 716 votes over Independent Utpal Parrikar. The battle for Priol was also a seesaw as BJP’s Govind Gaude ended up the winner by 213 votes over MGP’s Pandurang Dhavalikar. Like Gaude, Nilesh Cabral was another cabinet minister who won by less than 1,000 votes. The difference of votes was only 672 between those polled by Cabral and those polled by Congress’ Amit Patkar. Like RG and AAP, TMC came really close to sending its first ever MLA to the Goa assembly, but their hopes were defeated in Navelim by BJP’s Ulhas Tuenkar won as Valanka Alemao fell short of 430 votes. Many politicians have already come out to state that RG was a key factor that chomped off votes in many constituencies, altering the results. Jit Arolkar of MGP gave BJP’s Dayanand Sopte a run for his money by winning Mandrem with a margin of 712 votes.

Sex scandal costs Naik his reign in Mormugao
Times of India | 6 months ago | |
Times of India
6 months ago | |

Margao: Former BJP minister Milind Naik failed in his bid for a fourth term, giving his bete noir — Congress candidate Sankalp Amonkar — victory in Mormugao constituency. While Naik was facing strong anti-incumbency, the lurid details and images surrounding his alleged sexual affair also proved too hot to handle in a constituency where female voters outnumber men, political observers said. For Amonkar, the adage ‘third time lucky’ worked like a charm, with the Congress vice-president claiming 54% of the votes. His victory breaks BJP’s chokehold over the constituency. Since 1977, Mormugao has been a Congress bastion except from 1989-99. It was Naik who started BJP’s winning streak in Mormugao in 2007. Amonkar bagged 9,067 votes while Naik, the sitting MLA, got 7,126 votes, a difference of 1,941 votes. All other candidates lost their deposits. In the 2017 state assembly elections, Amonkar came close to dethroning Naik, losing by just 140 votes. Naik was on the backfoot, fighting anti-incumbency, dissent within the party ranks, the scandal about his alleged affair with a woman and the anger over the coal dust settling in the constituency. tnnA local BJP karyakarta told TOI that the MLA could not counter the allegations raised by Amonkar. The electorate was also upset that jobs and contracts at the port were given to a select few who were close to Naik.Aware that BJP was on the backfoot, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi went campaigning door-to-door with Amonkar to try and press home the advantage.

Sex scandal costs Naik his reign in Mormugao
Goa assembly elections: Rahul Gandhi heads Congress meet in Delhi to try to prevent repeat of 2017 fiasco
Times of India | 6 months ago | |
Times of India
6 months ago | |

Panaji: With memories of the 2017 election fiasco still fresh, Congress went into a huddle on Saturday in Delhi in a bid to prevent a similar outcome post-March 10, when the Goa assembly election results will be declared. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi chaired a meeting with the Congress state leadership and senior AICC functionaries to chalk out a post-result strategy to cobble up the numbers to fill up the deficit in its own tally. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, former Union finance minister and senior election strategist for Goa P Chidambaram, Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao were present for the meeting, where Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar and Margao MLA Digambar Kamat briefed Gandhi about the party’s prospects. Rao said that Gandhi reviewed the political situation in Goa and discussed strategies for a post-election scenario. Given that the party does not realistically expect to reach the desired figure of 21, Congress will need the support of the other non-BJP parties, said a party functionary. The challenge, he said, is to accommodate the other parties in the portfolio distribution while keeping the Congress flock intact. Despite emerging as the single-largest party in 2017, Congress tripped on its own feet while selecting its chief ministerial candidate, an embarrassing episode that Congress wants to avoid this time around. While Congress made it abundantly clear that Kamat is its de facto leader in the assembly, that has not stopped Calangute MLA Michael Lobo from publicly canvassing for the chief minister’s chair. “We had a strategic meeting with our Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the Goa assembly polls in the presence of K C Venugopal, Chidambaram, Dinesh Gundu Rao and Girish. The Congress is all set to win the people’s mandate and form a people-friendly government,” said Kamat. Just two days after Lobo flew to Delhi to meet Venugopal, Chodankar and Kamat landed in Delhi for what was termed as a routine meeting. Lobo, a recent entrant into the Congress, is projecting himself as a powerhouse in North Goa, and his abrupt meeting with Venugopal raised several eyebrows within the Congress camp while also sparking speculation about his motives in rushing to Delhi. “Lobo is trying to play up his importance in the party. What he really wants is some big portfolios,” said a Congress party insider. Congress has brushed aside speculation that Lobo also met Union home minister Amit Shah during his brief trip in Delhi, with Chodankar saying that the “BJP propaganda machinery” is working on overdrive to demoralise the Congress candidates. When asked about the purpose behind his trip to Delhi, Chodankar said that he is in Delhi to meet a few Supreme Court lawyers to discuss the party’s move to approach the Supreme Court and challenge the recent high court of Bombay at Goa order upholding the dismissal of the disqualification petition. “Obviously, the party wants to be prepared. There are so many possibilities and it is clear that Congress cannot get the majority. We will have to get the numbers by forming an alliance with other parties but it all depends on the seats that they win,” said a Congress source. Congress has approached Aam Aadmi Party, MGP and independent candidates, while also sending feelers to TMC in a bid to keep the BJP at bay. Congress and Goa Forward Party fought the elections as part of a pre-poll alliance. The Congress leadership is also in the process of flying down senior AICC leaders to Goa ahead of the results to keep the Congress flock together and hold negotiations with other parties, something that did not happen in 2017.

Goa assembly elections: Rahul Gandhi heads Congress meet in Delhi to try to prevent repeat of 2017 fiasco
PM Modi does not understand post-WW2 history, says Rahul Gandhi
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru delayed the Liberation of Goa, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Modi “doesn’t quite understand the history of those times, nor does he understand in detail what was going on post-World War-II”. Gandhi’s statement came during an interaction with reporters in Goa on Friday. “The PM’s role is to distract and take people away from the real issues. The PM cannot come to you today and say, ‘I gave you jobs, I fixed your problems, I stole your last government’. He has to distract you,” Gandhi said. Gandhi also said freedom fighters and academics have commented on BJP’s claims (regarding Nehru and Goa) when it was raised in the past. The former Congress president said every party has a particular role to play. His role, he said, was to ensure Goa gets a government that represents its voice, but the same can’t be said about the PM. “Did he speak about unemployment and environmental issues of Goa? The PM’s aim was to distract people,” said Gandhi, adding that the main issues before Goa are unemployment and the environment. “Yet, there was not a word on environment in BJP’s manifesto,” he said. Modi addressed a public meeting in Mapusa on Thursday, stating it is secularism when the government’s schemes reach to people 100%. Asked to comment on this, Gandhi said that the PM should tell the people of Goa what was done by its government in the last five years for Goa, its environment, and how many jobs were created.

PM Modi does not understand post-WW2 history, says Rahul Gandhi
Cong has enslaved its own by making them take oath: Irani
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

Panaji: Union minister for women and child development, Smriti Irani, on Friday said Congress has enslaved its own candidates by making them take an oath to not defect from the party. “Congress, which enslaves its own candidates by making them take an oath, cannot serve the people and provide development in a democratic way. For the first time in their lives, 2.6 lakh people in Goa received clean tap water under BJP. Another one lakh received electricity connections for the first time because of the BJP government. Those who call BJP communal should know that electricity was not given on the basis of the beneficiary’s religion and creed,” Irani said. She said Congress also tried to poach BJP’s Margao candidate Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar. “Babu bhai, I heard that Congress approached you. Congress is such that it cannot win elections on its own. Its leadership is such that they come to Goa and ask candidates to take an oath that they will not leave. If they do not trust their own candidates, why should voters trust their candidates?” Irani said. She also said that before voting on Monday, Goans should remember that Congress scion Rahul Gandhi had questioned the integrity of former CM Manohar Parrikar. “It is a thing of pride for the nation that Manohar Parrikar was its defence minister. It is under his leadership, under PM Narendra Modi, that Pakistan was made to bite the dust when it set its sights on Indian territory. When the country was united and Modi was praising Parrikar, Rahul Gandhi raised questions on Parrikar’s integrity. That is why I say vote in Parrikar’s memory, for India’s pride,” said Irani. She further claimed that parties like AAP have tried to stop development works from progressing in Goa.

Cong has enslaved its own by making them take oath: Irani
Will resume sustainable mining in Goa
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

Margao: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday assured that the party, once it forms the next Goa government, would resume mining “in a legal and sustainable manner”, even as he said Congress wouldn’t allow Goa to become a coal hub. Addressing a rally at Curchorem, a mining-affected constituency and through which the railway double track passes, Gandhi called into question BJP’s assurance of mining resumption. Pointing out that there’s been no mention of the environment in BJP’s manifesto, Gandhi said, “That’s because they want to convert Goa into a coal hub. Goans will not get any benefit out of it. We will do whatever it takes to ensure Goa is not turned into a coal hub, just the way we got the farmers’ bills scrapped,” Gandhi said. He also dished out several assurances. “Poor people will be given Rs 6,000 per month, which will be credited directly into their accounts. Women will get 30% reservation for government jobs. A Rs 500-crore provision will be made in the first budget to create employment opportunities, which will be invested for mining resumption and reviving tourism,” he said. Congress Curchorem candidate Amit Patkar assured to resolve the unemployment issue on priority.

Will resume sustainable mining in Goa
  • Amit Shah upbeat about mining resumption in Goa
  • Navhind Times

    Shah, Rajnath Singh blame Nehru for delay in Goa’s liberationSankhali/Ponda/Vasco: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday asserted that mining operations will resume in full swing through the mining corporation six months after new chief minister of the BJP assumes power upon the February 14 assembly elections.Addressing a public meeting at the Hirabai Zantye memorial hall at Bicholim, Shah appealed to people to support the BJP to make Goa a golden state.Shah said, “I have prayed to goddess Shantadurga for the prosperity of Goa.”Blaming the first prime minister Jawaharal Nehru for the delay in liberation of Goa, he said that Nehru’s leadership was not decisive. Otherwise Goa would have become independent in 1947 itself.People want to choose between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress gave instable governments while the BJP gave governments of development and stability, he maintained.Remembering former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, Shah recalled the contributions made by Parrikar.“The Congress did nothing. But now the BJP-led government at the Centre provided crores of rupees to Goa, and has brought about development,” he maintained.Shah addressed a public meeting at Sankhali, praising Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for his work in the last three years.The Union Minister took part in the door-door campaigning in Mayem assembly constituency.He also visited Shri Shantadurga temple and took blessings.Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was also in the state for canvassing, urging Goans to vote for the BJP.Addressing a public meeting at Ponda, Singh stated that no other party other than the BJP has strengths to develop Goa and make it a top destination of world tourism.“Only the BJP can do it; it is possible if the state and central governments are run by the same party,” Singh reckoned.He criticised the Congress on several fronts, maintaining that Goa would have been liberated soon after the country’s independence, if Congress leaders of that time had shown the courage to do so.The Defence Minister also addressed a huge public meeting in Vasco, where he recalled the promise of citizenship made to the persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries.“The minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan are persecuted and troubled for the sake of being minorities. We promised them citizenship and a right to leave with respect in India. We have fulfilled our promise after coming to power with majority at the Centre.”On religious structures, Singh said, “We respect all religions and religious structures. No structure – whether a temple, a mosque or a church – should be demolished. The temple (Ram Mandir) was demolished by the foreign invader Babar. Now it is being reconstructed by the people and the government.”Paying tributes to Parrikar, Singh said that Goans are very warm, simple and welcoming. This nature was seen in Parrikar, who reflected the true spirit of Goans.“Entire world knows how kind and warm the people of Goa are. They respect everyone and do not differentiate,” the Defence Minister stated.

Environmental issues central to Goa, says Rahul Gandhi
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

Panaji: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that unemployment is a critical issue, but for places like Goa, the environment issue is central. Congress will resist the three linear projects and will not allow Goa to be turned into a coal hub, Gandhi said during a media interaction on Friday. “We are not going to allow Goa to become a coal hub as it is not in the interest of the state. Congress is against the three linear projects. We will resist the idea of projects just as we opposed the farm laws. We will not let them happen,” said Gandhi, adding that some may wonder how a state Congress government will do it when the projects are decided by the Union government. He said the Congress government will focus on turning Goa into an IT and knowledge hub so that young Goans can get jobs in the IT industry. “We are going to allow legal and sustainable mining. This will open large numbers of jobs to the people of Goa. Tourism is a huge asset that Goa has. I’ve spoken to different stakeholders in the tourism industry and I have a plan to completely rejuvenate the tourism industry,” Gandhi said, replying to a query about how his party will create job opportunities. Stating that the party has not taken a wrong decision by denying tickets and entry to defectors, he said Congress will get a majority and “will act immediately” to form the next government. In the 2017 election, Congress, with 17 MLAs, was the single-largest party but delayed in formulating a plan to form an alliance government. “This time, we are going to get a solid majority, and we are going to act immediately to ensure that we have a government in Goa. We won’t fall short. We will be above the majority mark with ease,” Gandhi said. Congress has been in a pre-poll alliance with the regional party GFP, and has shared three seats with it for the 40-member Goa legislative assembly.

Environmental issues central to Goa, says Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhis visit wont impact BJP even 1%: Pramod Sawant
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

BICHOLIM: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Sanquelim two days ago will not impact BJP as far as share of its votes in the constituency are concerned. Gandhi’s meeting in the constituency will not impact BJP by even 1%, Sawant told a gathering during a road show in Sanquelim town on Sunday. Sawant said that after realising that only BJP can continue the all round development of the state more and more people have started joining BJP. He said that during the 2012 election former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too had visited Sanquelim, but had not affect BJP votes, on the contrary BJP won the seat by a big margin. The entire Siddhivinayak temple committee joined BJP on the occasion.

Rahul Gandhis visit wont impact BJP even 1%: Pramod Sawant
  • CM calls Rahul a tourist
  • Navhind Times

    Sankhali: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that in the next five years, a new plan will be prepared for the prosperity of the state.Sawant during a road show criticised Rahul Gandhi “for coming as a tourist.”Sawant said that when the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had come down to Goa for campaigning in 2012, BJP had won by record number of votes. Even with Rahul Gandhi’s visit, Congress will not get votes. The opposition is spreading propaganda but it has no effect on BJP, said Sawant.Maharashtra BJP vice-president and MLA Chitra Wagh said that Goa is an ideal state where there is peace, order and good governance with good facilities.

  • Rahul Gandhi a tourist in Goa, dont take him seriously: Pramod Sawant
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Lashing out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his claim that Goa has not seen any development, chief minister Pramod Sawant said that there is no substance in the claim by Gandhi who was on a visit to Goa “like a tourist”. The chief minister said that people should not go by what Gandhi is saying as they are here and have witnessed the kind of development that has taken place. “Rahul Gandhi comes to Goa once in a year like a tourist and makes allegations. There is no need to go by Gandhi’s allegations. Goans practically know what we have done, and these are baseless allegations. Gandhi is like a politician on a Goa tour.” Last Sunday while on campaign trail, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that the Gandhi Parivar used the state only as a “tourist destination” and if Congress formed the government in the state, it would only be a “vacation spot for their leaders”. Reacting to the Congress MP’s claims that the government had failed in Covid management, providing employment and to boost tourism activities, the chief minister said, “Gandhi was in Goa for holiday. If he cannot see so much development in the state, then I fail to understand what he is doing in Goa. Nobody needs to take him seriously.” In view of Congress asking its candidate to take a loyalty pledge and sign an anti-defection affidavit, Sawant said that Congress candidates have to say again and again that they are loyal to the party. “Congress does not have faith in them, and the Congress leadership does not trust its candidates and even Gandhi does not trust them,” he said. The chief minister said that a few days ago, Congress took its candidate to a temple, mosque and church and administered the oath that they will not leave Congress. “When Congress does not have trust in them, then how will people of Goa have confidence in them?” Sawant said. Congress does not know when they will leave the party and that is the reason people of Goa have confidence in BJP and its candidates, he said. “Definitely that is the reason people are supporting BJP. We are getting good response in all constituencies,” he said.

Congress picks Channi as CM face in Punjab
Navhind Times | 7 months ago | |
Navhind Times
7 months ago | |

Ludhiana: Just two weeks ahead of assembly polls in the Congress-ruled Punjab, party leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday ended months of suspense by announcing incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi as the party’s chief ministerial face for the polls.Accepting the decision, state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was in the race, hugged Channi on the stage as Gandhi announced his name after over 45 minutes of his speech, televised across the 117 assembly seats. Political observers believe the decision of the Congress to go to the polls in the state, which is witnessing a five-cornered contest, under the leadership of three-time legislator Channi, the state’s first Dalit Chief Minister, is to woo the Dalit Sikh votes that constitute 32% scheduled caste population in the state, the country’s largest.“The people of Punjab have said, not me, the thought is theirs, not mine, that they want a person from a poor household as the CM. We want someone who understands poverty, hunger, and fears of the poor. Punjab’s CM candidate is Charanjit Singh Channi Ji,” said Gandhi during his address at the ‘Aawaz Punjab Di’ virtual rally.He praised Channi for his humble background.Getting emotional on the announcement of his name, Channi said that he has always been honest, never took a penny from anyone, and will continue to work honestly.“This is a big battle which I can’t fight alone and I don’t have the money, courage to fight it,” he said, adding, “The people of Punjab will fight this battle.”Channi became the CM after the unceremonious exit of Amarinder Singh over allegations of being hand-in-glove with the Akalis for not fulfilling the 2017 prominent poll promises – acting with an iron fist against the drug mafia and justice for the sacrilege of 2015 that led to protests and the deaths of two persons in the subsequent police firing.The Congress announcement of the CM’s face came after the AAP declared comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann as its chief ministerial candidate on January 18.Before the formal announcement by Gandhi, Sidhu said, “I have accepted Rahul Gandhi’s decision… If I am given decision-making power, I will finish the mafia, improve people’s lives. If not given power, I will walk with a smile with whomever you make the CM.”Responding to the Congress announcement, AAP Punjab co-incharge Raghav Chadha tweeted, “It is indeed sad that out of 3 crore Punjabis, the Congress party chose a person who is accused of illegal sand mining and transfer posting scam as their CM candidate.”Political observers told IANS that it was a tough task for the party high command to choose Channi, a Dalit Sikh, over Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, in a state with a population caste mix of roughly 32% Dalits, 30% Jat Sikhs and 40% the rest.

Congress picks Channi as CM face in Punjab
Give Congress-Goa Forward clear majority to prevent defections, Sardesai urges voters
Times of India | 7 months ago | |
Times of India
7 months ago | |

Panaji: A clear majority for the Congress-Goa Forward alliance will put an end to the current trend of defections in the state, said Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai on Saturday. Sardesai released his manifesto for Fatorda constituency and said that the alliance partners will pursue a “development by consent” model. Sardesai said that many workers of other political parties, including BJP, are supporting GFP and working against BJP. “Goa’s image has taken a beating because of its politics, a replay of the ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ trend. I assure Goans that a clear majority for us will put an end to defections,” said Sardesai. Sardesai said that the synergy between Congress and GFP was evident at the political meeting held by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Sanquelim. “When Rahul Gandhi spoke, he covered the development by consent model, something we have been implementing in Fatorda for the last 10 years,” said Sardesai after which he released his party manifesto for Fatorda. The Fatorda MLA said that while many supporters of other political parties are ready to join GFP, he has decided not to induct members of other parties as it would spoil the reputation built till now. He also said that Thane BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar is in Goa to lure people of other political parties. He pointed out that nearly 50% of the BJP candidates are prone to defections while 75% of the Congress-GFP candidates are fresh faces. Sardesai said that his manifesto is an “answer paper” for people’s suggestions and questions. “Fatordekars will decide the type and form of development they want. Not like the BJP’s model of development, in which the amount of commission decides development priorities. People’s wishes are bulldozed, something which I have not allowed in Fatorda,” said Sardesai.

Give Congress-Goa Forward clear majority to prevent defections, Sardesai urges voters
Every promise made by Rahul Gandhi will be implemented: Lamba
Navhind Times | 7 months ago | |
Navhind Times
7 months ago | |

Staff ReporterVascoThe Congress’ media in-charge for Goa Alka Lamba cautioned the people of Goa that voting for any other party and their candidates would indirectly result in voting for the BJP, adding Goa is going to witness a straight fight between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).She urged Goans to vote for the Congress to replace hatred with love, disharmony with harmony and division of society with unity. Lamba was addressing a public meeting at Baina on Saturday evening while campaigning for the party’s Vasco candidate and ex-MLA Carlos Almeida.Lamba said, “Last time we got only 17 seats. We did not backstab Goa and Goans, it was BJP which, with its money power, blackmailed the Congress MLAs and formed their government. These MLAs backstabbed Goa and Goans, and we made sure that none of them would get the Congress tickets this election.”She assured the voters that every promise made by Rahul Gandhi would be implemented and they will form the government at the Centre in 2024. “This time, 80% of candidates are new faces, educated and without criminal background. We want a change and the feeling is same. Unlike the BJP who have crossed all lines by allotting tickets to MLAs involved in corruption, sex scandals, etc,” she said.Appealing to Goans not to fall prey to works related to highways and other infrastructure, she alleged that “it was for the sake of two industrialist friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for whom the BJP wants to convert Goa into a coal hub.”Speaking about former chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, Lamba said, “Today the party has stooped so low that they failed to acknowledge the efforts of people who helped the BJP take shape in Goa.”Almeida said that “while being an MLA, I tried to bring in many projects in Vasco but the government always kept giving assurances. Today, I can say that things were intentional as they had a hidden agenda and it is in front of all.”

Every promise made by Rahul Gandhi will be implemented: Lamba