‘Cong has a better chance in Valpoi’

‘Cong has a better chance in Valpoi’

Panaji: Despite the voices of bravado emanating over Girish Chodankar’s chances in the Panaji byelections, the Congress let it slip that the party’s Valpoi campaign was on a stronger ground in comparison to Panaji for the August 23 bypolls.

Valpoi Congress candidate Roy Naik has made significant progress in the constituency and has held several meetings in the Rane family bastion. Roy, the son of former chief minister Ravi Naik, has a considerable base in Valpoi’s Usgao region which was once part of Ponda constituency which his father currently represents.

“Valpoi is in a stronger position because the poll campaign began at least one week before the nomination of the candidate. They (party workers) made preparations on their own. The first round of Valpoi is over. We are now in the second. This is not the case in Panaji,” state Congress chief Shantaram Naik told reporters at the party headquarters, on Friday.

He admitted that confusion and lack of planning over the candidate for Panaji had hampered the Congress’ chances in the capital.

Shantaram also indicated his desire to have Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia campaign in Valpoi. Scindia is related to the Rane family and if he campaigns, it could increase the pressure on Vishwajit Rane.

The Congress continued to attack chief minister Manohar Parrikar over his tenure as the defence minister saying that he was “incapable as a defence minister and incapable as a chief minister. The PMO always kept Parrikar in the dark.”

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