Ruling BJP and opposition Congress in Goa today released their first lists of candidates for the February 4 Assembly polls, retaining prominent leaders, including Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and former chief minister Digambar Kamat in their respective line-ups for the battle for the 40-member House.
BJP’s list of 29 candidates, released in Delhi after its Central Election Committee’s approval, includes 18 of the party’s 21 sitting legislators, but misses the names of state Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar and Speaker of the Assembly Anant Shet.
The Congress’ list of 27 candidates, released by party general secretary Madhusudan Mistry here, is a mix of old and new faces, including six sitting legislators.
Apart from Kamat, who immediately filed his nomination from Margao, Congress aspirants who received renomination include Jeniffer Monserratte (Taleigao), Chandrakant Kavlekar (Quepem), Pratapsinh Rane (Poriem), Vishwajit Rane (Valpoi) and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco (Curtorim).
Goa Congress chief Luizinho Faleiro has been fielded from Navelim constituency, currently represented by BJP-backed Independent MLA and state Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado.
Former BJP MLA Dayanand Sopte, who joined the Congress recently, would be locking horns with Parsekar at Mandrem.
Congress is in talks with the NCP and the Goa Forward Party for an alliance.
The Aam Aadmi Party, making a serious bid in the coastal state, has already announced its contestants from 36 seats.
Goa is set to witness a multi-cornered contest with a newly-formed alliance of the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) floated by RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar and Shiv Sena also entering the field.
One of the oldest regional outfits, MGP recently snapped ties with the BJP and withdrew two of its ministers from the state cabinet. The MGP-GSM-Sena “grand alliance” combine has named MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar as its chief ministerial face.