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Congress releases first list of candidates in Goa

February 04, 2012 18:49 IST

Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and all Congress members in his cabinet figure in the party's first list of 22 candidates for the March 3 assembly polls, which was announced in Panaji on Saturday.

The list contains two new faces, but the party has sprung a surprise by denying a ticket to Victoria Fernandes, the Congress' lone woman legislator.

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Subhash Shirodkar said the second and final list of 11 nominees will be announced on Sunday.

The party, heading a coalition government in the coastal state, is contesting in 33 out of the total 40 seats.

He said the Congress has almost finalised its pre-poll alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party, which will be fighting on seven seats.

Assembly Speaker Pratapsinh Rane and Shirodkar figure in the list. Goa has nine Congress ministers, including the chief minister.

Two former Bharatiya Janata Party legislators -- Dayanand Sopte and Rajesh Patnekar -- who have joined the Congress, have been given tickets from their respective constituencies.

Fernandes, a veteran Congress member, is the legislator A from St Cruz, a constituency from where controversial minister Atanasio Monserratte has been fielded this time.

The candidate for Taleigao segment, now represented by Monserratte, has not been announced. Party sources said Monserratte's wife Jennifer would be given a ticket there.

Goa Congress campaign manager Mauvin Godinho said the party, after considering various factors, decided to refuse a ticket to Fernandes. She may be suitably accommodated if the party returns to power, he said.

The party has fielded city Mayor Yatin Parekh from Panaji, where he will cross swords with BJP veteran and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

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