With time running out and the party virtually on a hunt to shortlist candidates, the Congress seemed to have not given up hopes on Mahila Congress chief Pratima Coutinho as the party candidate for the Navelim Zilla Panchayat election.
While Navelim Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro told The Goan that GPCC chief Girish Chodankar will take a final call on the party candidate for the Navelim ZP seat, sources in the Congress said a section of the party leadership has batted for the candidature of the Mahila Congress chief for the ZP by-poll.
A week ago, Pratima had politely declined to accept the nomination as the Congress candidate for the Navelim ZP seat. She had even announced that she will stake claim for the Navelim Assembly ticket after the retirement of incumbent MLA and party veteran, Luizinho Faleiro.
The Mahila Congress chief, sources said, has once again descended in the Navelim ZP constituency, moving around the villages to seek feedback from party workers and well-wishers on her candidature.
Sources informed that a section of the party leadership has reportedly requested Pratima to take up the challenge on behalf of the party by contesting the ensuing polls. Against this backdrop, the Mahila Congress chief has returned back to the ZP constituency, trying to get inputs from the workers and well-wishers in respect of her candidature.
When contacted, Pratima said though she had backed out from the fray for the Navelim seat, party leaders have requested her to take up the challenge and throw her hat in the ring. “I have not decided yet on contesting the Navelim ZP by-poll, but I am seeking feedback from party workers and well-wishers,” she added.
GPCC chief Girish Chodankar was not available for comment to shed light on the Congress candidate for the party ticket.
In fact, time is running out for the Congress party to zero in on the candidate for the March 20 election against a formidable two-time sitting ZP member Cipru Cardozo, who is seeking re-election.
Election for the Navelim ZP seat was countermanded following the death of Congress candidate Jose Santarita Coelho alias Babush.