PANAJI: Odds appear to be in favour of the Panaji Mayor Surendra Furtado in clinching the Congress ticket for the ensuing by-elections to the Panaji assembly constituency likely to be held early next year.
The Pradesh Election Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to hold scrutiny and vetting of the four applications received from four of its members including Furtado. The other three applicants are GPCC general secretary Artur Sequeira, a former chairperson of Goa Women’s Commission Ezilda Sapeco and Domnic Savio Fernandes, a “new entrant”.
Senior Congress leaders told that the party is making efforts to dissuade St Cruz legislator Atanasio Monserrate from leaving the party to contest the by-elections and that they are hopeful that Monserrate will oblige.
“We are making all efforts using different emissaries to convince Monserrate,” they said.
Party sources said that since Furtado has experience in contesting the elections and has a clean image, he is likely to be preferred over others who have no experience in fighting elections. Furtado has been a councilor and corporator for two decades which could tilt the scale in his favour.
Congress sources, however, said that in case Monserrate refuses to “oblige” then the party will field its own candidate. “We are firm on contesting the elections on our own and we will not compromise with any one on that count,” a senior party functionary said.
Sources in the party informed that while loyalty to the party was one of the factors in short-listing the candidates, three other criteria – winnability, clean image and public acceptance – would also be considered in selection of the final candidate.
The PEC is likely to recommend the names of the shortlisted applicants to the central election committee of the Congress party, which would take a final call on the party nominee. The name of the Congress candidate is likely to be announced in the second half of this month itself, the Congress sources informed.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Luizinho Faleiro said that it is the prerogative of the PEC to recommend the name of the suitable candidate for the party ticket to the central election committee of the party. He, however, declined to comment on the selection of any candidate saying that the PEC would decide on the issue and announcement would follow.
“I cannot comment till the PEC take a decision,” Faleiro said that the decision on selecting the party nominee would be made at the earliest so that the selected candidate has enough time to approach voters to seek vote.
Source:: The Navhind Times