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Lok Sabha polls: All eyes now on South Goa seat candidates

While the North Goa seat has been represented by Shripad Naik for five consecutive terms, the South Goa seat has been won by the Congress, BJP and regional parties on different occasions.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 05:56 IST

Panaji: After the announcement of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shripad Naik's candidature from North Goa Lok Sabha seat, all eyes are now on who will be the nominees of the BJP and the Congress from South Goa seat.

Naik's name figured in the first list of 195 candidates declared by the BJP in Delhi on Saturday for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The coastal state has two Lok Sabha constituencies - North Goa and South Goa.

While the North Goa seat has been represented by Naik for five consecutive terms, the South Goa seat has been won by the Congress, BJP and regional parties on different occasions.

Currently, Congress leader Francis Sardinha is the member of Parliament from South Goa.

In 2019, Sardinha defeated BJP candidate and then sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar by polling 47.47 per cent of the votes. Sawaikar had polled 45.18 per cent votes.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was also in the fray in 2019 and its candidate Elvis Gomes secured 4.92 per cent votes.

The South Goa parliamentary constituency has 20 assembly segments.

A senior BJP leader told PTI that Sawaikar and Chandrakant Kavlekar are among the front-runners from the saffron party.

"The decision for the North Goa seat was smoother as there was no competition against Shripad Naik. That is why it was announced in the first list," he said.

Various aspects are being considered while deciding the South Goa candidate, the leader added.

Goa Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Pramod Sawant told reporters recently that the announcement of the South Goa candidate would be made in the second list.

The Congress is yet to announce its candidates for both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa.

The Kharge-led Congress and the AAP headed by Arvind Kejriwal recently sealed a seat-sharing pact under which the grand old party will contest both the Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Last month, the AAP announced its MLA Venzy Viegas as the candidate from South Goa seat but later withdrew his name after agreeing for an alliance with the Congress.

Talking to PTI, Goa Congress president Amit Patkar said, "The candidates will be announced at the right time. We have two names shortlisted for North Goa and three for South Goa."

The announcement would be made in Delhi as the party's screening committee has already met and given its views on the candidatures, he said.

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(Published 03 March 2024, 05:56 IST)

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