The Goa Congress on Friday ruled out any change in the candidature of south Goa parliamentary constituency and instead reiterated its firm resolve to shut the party doors to the rebels forever, if they decide to quit the party ahead of election.
Spokesperson of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Pratima Coutinho, at her press briefing at the Congress headquarters on Friday, put to rest any speculation that party may withdraw its candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenceo facing rebellion in south Goa.
Congress heavyweight from south Goa, Churchill Alemao, and Shalom Saridnha, son of the three-time sitting south Goa MP Francisco Sardinha who is sulking for having denied ticket, have threatened party to change its candidate.
Mr. Alemao, who has in the past deserted the party on couple of such occasions only to make a comeback in pursuit of positions of power, has given the Congress till Friday to withdraw the candidate in south Goa in favour of his daughter Valanka Alemao, Goa youth Congress president or Mr. Sardinha. He has threatened that he would contest as an independent in this traditional Congress bastion, which is dominated by Catholic voters.
“Nobody is above party. Reginaldo's decision is final. Hijacking of the party for personal gains is past, no blackmail will be tolerated,” she said and added that the Congress was concentrating on bringing back party discipline.
While conceding that senior Congress leader, Mr. Alemoa, was hurt, Ms. Coutinho, however, said that the decision has been taken by Congress with full knowledge of president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi after complete assessment of various issues and, as such, there was no question of it being reversed.
She said that the party has given two days to the potential rebels to “think and re-think and fall in line.”
“The Pradesh Congress Committee will soon meet to adopt a resolution, which will ban the leaders who leave the party ahead of election and try to join back after the elections,” she reiterated quoting Pradesh Congress president John Fernandes.