Current AffairsGoa

Time for candidate swapping at Shiroda, Mahadev inches closer to Cong

By: RUPESH SAMANT

Shiroda by-election will get spicy with Mahadev Naik hobnobbing with Congress.

GOA (Shiroda) In what seems to be Congress trying to import candidate from rival party, former BJP minister Mahadev Naik has said that he is willing to contest on Rahul Gandhi led party’s ticket from Shiroda Assembly Constituency for upcoming by-election.

Naik hinted that he is already in touch with the Congress High Command is one amongst the shortlisted candidates for the by-poll that is necessitated after then MLA Subhash Shirodkar switched over his loyalty to BJP.

“BJP has already decided their candidate by inducting Shirodkar in the party. My aim is to defeat Shirodkar. The people have told me that I can do it by contesting on Congress ticket,” said Naik, a former Industries minister in Laxmikant Parsekar-led cabinet.

He recalled that he had 18-year-long stint in Congress between 1994-2002 before contesting election on BJP ticket in the year 2007.

Naik said that “some people have done survey in Shiroda constituency, finding of which is that, if I contest on Congress ticket, I will surely win.”

The former minister said that he is not interested in contesting as an Independent. “If I contest, it would  be only on Congress ticket,” he said.

Congress party has kept their cards to chest with no formal announcement on candidates being made.

Shiroda constituency already has woman leader Diya Shetkar making her presence in the constituency while another leader Hemant Samant has been promoted to Goa Pradesh Congress Committee.

The party had successfully held meetings in the constituency reviving its unit after Shirodkar’s exit. Prominent social worker Sunil Sawakar has been elected as the Block President, who is making rounds of the constituency.

In the banner war that was witnessed during the New Year, Congress’ fort was held by Diya Shetkar who had painted red the entire constituency along side Shirodkar of BJP and Abhay Prabhu of MGP.

The constituency is expected to witness tri corner fight with MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar hitting the ground and announcing his candidature from the party.

Dhavalikar has said that he is a serious candidate in the fray and would be contesting the by-election, despite his party having alliance with BJP in the State.

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