Cong leaders put up a united front, ask voters not to vote for AAP
The mahila Congress president Pratima Coutinho, who was denied ticket to contest from the South Goa Lok Sabha seat, on Saturday, joined the party candidate Francisco Sardinha in his Cuncolim campaigning, thereby putting up a united front along with other party leaders.
During the meeting, the party leaders urged the voters not to vote for the AAP, claiming it to be Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘B’ team.
Speaking at the public meeting in Cuncolim, Sardinha said, “The AAP would only divide the Congress’ minority votes,” and added that the people would not fall for this “tactic.”
While, the Leader of Opposition Babu Kavlekar said, “The AAP is only putting up 30 candidates in the entire country. Here in Goa, if you vote for them, it will reduce our votes.”
Clarifying her stand, Coutinho said that she would not leave the Congress. “The majority of the crowd members today are women, and this shows that women are with the Congress. Our main aim is to make Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister. You, therefore, have to support Sardinha for the Congress to come to power,” she said.
“We have taken up several causes in the state. When a Cuncolim local was beaten up, we took to streets to get justice. Vijai Sardesai and Parrikar were forced to reduce the price of coconuts because of us and this shows our success. At the time of ticket distribution, I thought I would get it based on the work done but despite not getting it, I say I would work for the party’s success,” she said.
“Pratima will always stay with the Congress. I am not a joker to jump from one party to another. I have worked for the party for the last 23 years, starting as a grassroots-level worker and will continue to work for the party,” she said.
Congress MLAs speaking on the occasion criticised the BJP-led government in the state as well as at the Centre. “In 2014, Modi made promises – acche din, 2 crore jobs, and others, but there is nothing on the track record. Our government took up construction of the Collectorate building and started the work on South Goa district hospital building. But from 2012 to 2019, the hospital building hasn’t seen acche din. The BJP government built the Mandovi bridge. Is the bridge more important than the hospital? What have the South Goa people done to deserve this treatment? This government is not for us. And, giving your vote to AAP is like giving your vote to the BJP,” said Margao MLA Digambar Kamat.
“Modi only made promises. Congress brought White Revolution and Green Revolution. Top institutions like the CBI and Supreme Court began to fight within themselves because of Modi. He has taken the country behind not forward. For our Muslim brothers, as an MP I had started direct flight for Haj. For Catholics, I started the Valiannkini trains. Today, the people in Goa have so many problems like CRZ notification, mining, and river nationalisation that have to be resolved,” Sardinha said.
Also present for the meeting were Cuncolim MLA Clafacio Dias, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, and others.
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