Goa Congress says candidates voluntarily staying together at resort ahead of counting
Goa Assembly election 2022: Goa Congress general secretary Sunil Kauthankar said party candidates have not been made to forcibly stay together at a resort, adding a number of senior leaders from other states have reached the coastal state.
The Goa Congress leadership on Wednesday refuted claims of forcibly moving its party candidates at a resort a day ahead of counting of votes for the Assembly election.
Goa Congress general secretary Sunil Kauthankar said candidates have decided to stay together voluntarily, while adding a number of senior leaders from other states were in the coastal state to manage the post-poll scenario.
He further said the Congress has adopted a strategy that is complex and comprehensive in case it emerges as the single-largest party in Goa. Exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in Goa that voted in a single phase on February 14.
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Exuding confidence that the Congress would form the next government in the state, Kauthankar said the party has received a strong response from other contenders who have fought against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the election.
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“We have not forced any candidate to stay over (at the resort). They voluntarily decided to stay together… Not correct to say that we are keeping a hold on our leaders because leaders have come from other states also…” Kauthankar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“The strategy we have adopted is complex and comprehensive. We are very confident that all our candidates are sticking together. Got strong response from other political parties who have fought against the BJP. Confident of forming the government tomorrow (Thursday) itself,” he further said.
Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar said the party has taken all precautions to protect the mandate of the people, unlike what happened last time the grand old party failed to form a government even after winning the highest number of seats.
“The last time the BJP had manipulated the verdict of the people of Goa. This time we have taken all precautions to protect the mandate of the people. We are confident that we are forming the government with a majority,” he said.
Former chief minister Digambar Kamat said the Congress leadership had failed to predict last time that the BJP would try to form the government using in an illegitimate manner and a delay in taking a final decision proved to fatal.
“Goans will give a mandate in our favour. Last time (too), the mandate was in our favour... but the leadership never thought that they (BJP) will try to form an illegitimate government. That's why we delayed our decision which proved to be fatal. Won't take any chances this time,” Kamat said.
The Congress has said it will associate with other “non-BJP parties” even if the party wins a clear majority.