BJP trying to poach our candidates, alleges Goa Cong chief

The Congress party in Goa on Saturday accused ministers in the outgoing BJP-led coalition government of trying to poach its candidates by making them offers ahead of March 10, when votes polled during the February 14 assembly polls are scheduled to be counted.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, state Congress president Girish Chodankar also said that “nobody will be able to save” Congress MLAs from the ire of the voters, if they decide to switch over or defect to the BJP after being formally elected.

“They, Vishwajit (Health Minister Vishwajit Rane), Mauvin (Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho) and (Chief Minister) Pramod Sawant and their brokers have started poaching our candidates and giving offers. We are publicly warning, this is a new Congress. Not a single worker will keep quiet if such efforts continue to be made,” Chodankar told reporters.

“We are ready to take steps and this is a warning. Don’t take the people for granted. If any MLA tries to bring the BJP back to power and what will happen to that MLA, nobody will be able to save them,” Chodankar also said.

The state Congress president also alleged differences in the BJP camp, claiming infighting had broken out in its camp over who would be the chief minister.

“Mauvin is going out with offers saying he will be CM. Rane says he will be CM and is approaching people,” Chodankar said.”People of Goa will also not keep quiet. This entire election was about defections. They will be responsible and they should realise this is a new Congress and our cadre will not keep quiet and neither will the people of Goa,” Chodankar also said.

In the 2017 state assembly polls, the BJP had managed to string together a coalition and form a government, despite the Congress emerging as the single largest party.

From 2017-22, 15 out of 17 Congress MLAs switched over to other parties, with most of them joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The BJP has contested all 40 assembly seats, while the Congress in Goa is contesting in 37 out of the 40 assembly seats.

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