PANJIM: Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Subhash Shirodkar today made U-turn on his statement on having no alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for forthcoming Assembly elections.
“Whether to have alliance with NCP or not, it is for the High command to decide”, Shirodkar told reporters after accepting 200-odd workers including NCP leaders in the party-fold.
Shirodkar said that it is not wise to discuss about alliance 12 to 15 months before the elections.
When pointed out that he had told a local news channel that next time, Congress won’t go with NCP for polls, Shirodkar said that it is his personal opinion that Congress can go alone.
“You look at the trend in Valpoi by-poll. There is lead by 8,000 votes. What does it indicate? It means people are increasingly moving towards Congress in Goa”, he said.
Meanwhile, NCP’s loss was Congress gain today. Simon Pereira, a NCP leader, joined Congress along with 80 others, few hours after he was allegedly assaulted by supporters of Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza.
Pereira was amongst the people dining with former tourism minister and Benaulim legislator Mickky Pacheco on Tuesday night at Vasco.
Shirodkar this evening told reporters that Pereira has joined the Congress. He, however, did not specify from which party, Pereira came from.
“They are all 80 of them belonging to different parties”, Shirodkar said responding to a question.
Shirodkar said that being a democratic country every person has a right to decide. “If any person is not happy with the party he belongs to they have full freedom to join the party of their choice”, he stated.
Pereira, who is also president of All Goa Fishing Boat Owners Association, along with his association members including Edwin Carvalho joined Congress.
Shirodkar said that there are many more from all walks of life who will join Congress in the days to come. “We have not promised any post to anyone”, he clarified.
Flanked by Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (GPYCC) President Sankalp Amonkar, Shirodkar also announced arrival of NCP’s youth wing senior vice president Erwin Fernandes in Youth Congress fold along with few other office bearers.
Incidentally, Congress’ move to induct the leaders from NCP youth wing is retaliation for NCP’s move to take Youth Congress’ former leader Tanvir Khatib into their fold. Khatib was appointed as Goa Unit youth wing president by NCP.
Khatib had alleged massive scam in Canacona flood relief funds collected by GPYCC.
Talking to reporters soon after filling the Congress membership forms, Fernandes said he was short-listed for the post of NCP Youth Wing president in Goa but suddenly some of the leaders admitted Khatib into the party. He said that Khatib’s arrival was unacceptable to them.
“What’s the use of remaining in a party where rights of youth are not protected?” He questioned.
Fernandes has joined Congress with other office bearers including Sham Mandrekar, Viraj Upaskar, Jayant Govekar, Ajit Naik and others.


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