Goa NCP agrees to unique seat-sharing with Congress

April 2nd, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 2 (IANS) Ending days of speculation, the Goa unit of the Nationalist Congress Party Thursday agreed to a unique formula of seat-sharing whereby a Congress legislator will resign from the party and contest the North Goa seat as an NCP candidate.
NCP chief Wilfred D’Souza formally acknowledged the formula and said: “”Our party high command rejected the names of six candidates put forth by the state executive committee.”

“The central leadership of both the Congress and the NCP have thought fit to nominate Congressman Jeetendra Deshprabhu for the North Goa seat as per the seat-sharing arrangement inked by the two parties.”

Deshprabhu, a two-time Congress legislator from Pernem, resigned from the Congress Thursday afternoon and is expected to join the NCP Friday, D’Souza said.

When asked if the state unit of the NCP was happy with the party central leadership’s decision, D’Souza said: “It is not important for me to be happy. The people have to be happy.”

When asked why the NCP was unable to prop up a single candidate for the North Goa seat, D’Souza said that “winnability” was the only criteria that concerned the NCP and “other aspects like ethics and grooming grass-root leaders are not primary”.

D’Souza said that the NCP would contest solely on the issues of recession and terrorism.

“These are the only issues we are concerned with. There are no local issues, which we will raise during the elections,” he said.

The decision of the NCP central leadership to give Deshprabhu, a Congressman since 1967, a ticket has confounded the rank and file of the party’s unit in Goa.

Rajan Ghate, president of the NCP youth wing, has already announced a rally Friday to protest the party’s “dictatorial” decision imposed on the state unit.

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