Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Saturday said his party took a brave decision to not give tickets to defectors for Goa Assembly polls scheduled for February 14.
The All India Congress Committee general secretary said several BJP ministers in the state were ready to join his party.
”We did something politically very brave. We decided we will not take back people (into the party) who have defected and soiled the political landscape of Goa. BJP ministers (in Goa) were ready to join but Rahul Gandhi, Dinesh Gundu Rao (state in charge), Girish Chodankar (Goa unit chief), Digambar Kamat (Leader of Opposition) and the party decided not to accept them,” he said.
”It was decided we would rather have a Kargil war hero, a housewife, young persons, engineers, entrepreneurs and young faces who represent the ethos of Goa than defectors who wanted to come back,” Surjewala added.
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Referring to the ”oath of loyalty” taken by candidates in presence of senior leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday, Surjewala said this process is not for Goa alone, adding that ”this oath is the commencement of a new political culture in the country”.
Surjewala said the Aam Aadmi Party was responsible for a fractured mandate in the 2017 Assembly polls here, when the Congress emerged as the largest party but the BJP managed to cobble up a coalition government.
He (AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal) is again trying to do it (split opposition votes) for the BJP, please be forewarned, Surjewala alleged.
The Congress completely understands the ethos of Goa since its Liberation, but there are ”’electoral tourists like Kejriwal” who come here to destroy the future of the state, Surjewala said.