Tuesday 03 Aug 2021

Goa Cong leadership issue shifts to Delhi, meet today


THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 21, 2021, 11:52 PM IST

The Congress leadership tangle has finally received the party high command’s attention with party leaders heading to Delhi for a crucial meeting with their leader Rahul Gandhi scheduled on Thursday evening.

Former Chief Minister and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro reached Delhi on Wednesday ahead of the Thursday meeting. Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco had boarded the afternoon flight and was expected in the national capital in the evening.

South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha, who has been vocal about the immediate removal of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Chief Girish Chodankar is already in Delhi in connection with the ongoing Parliament Session and is scheduled to attend tomorrow’s meeting with Gandhi.

Even though Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat feigned ignorance about tomorrow’s meeting, saying he will head to Delhi tonight if called, party leaders in private said all the party MLAs, barring Pratapsing Rane are expected to attend the meeting.

This is the first time Congress leaders from Goa have been called for a meeting with Rahul Gandhi, ostensibly to discuss the leadership issue plaguing the GPCC. 

Congress sources informed that the high command has a clear task at hand -- one, to take a call whether to replace the GPCC Chief or not and, secondly, zero in on a candidate to lead the party in the 2022 Assembly elections.

Sources informed that most of the party senior leaders, including MLAs Faleiro, Lourenco and Ravi Naik are expected to make a strong demand for the removal of Girish as the GPCC head. 

South Goa MP Sardinha has been demanding the replacement of Girish if the party hopes to come back to power in 2022. He has been on record to assert that the Congress has been on a decline under Girish’s leadership, saying the party has not won the Zilla Panchayat and Municipal polls.

So far, Opposition leader Digambar Kamat has not come out clear, either in support of the GPCC Chief or to oppose his continuance, though the anti-Girish faction perceives Digambar as one leader in favour of a status quo.

Amongst the contenders for the GPCC post in the event of replacement of Chodankar, sources say Faleiro may emerge as a strong contender, though the Navelim MLA has time and again ruled out the possibility of taking over the reins of the party.

On the other hand, Sardinha has been on record to assert he would not shy away from shouldering the party reins if offered by the high command. 

Sources said even three-time MLA Reginaldo Lourenco may not say no if the party asks him to take up the post. 

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