Recent ticket allocations by BJP and Congress came as a shocker for many of their stalwarts in Goa who are now in the fray either as independent candidates or have withdraw from the election campaign in the run-up to the State Assembly polls.
BJP which was ruling with 21 legislators on the floor of the 40-member House kept aside three sitting MLAs from their list of candidates and instead favoured Congress turncoats. While St Andre legislator Vishnu Wagh was refused ticket due to his health conditions, Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar was shocked to not not find his name in the list.
"BJP will face revolt from Scheduled Tribe community for keeping me out of the list. They will face a setback in the constituencies where ST population is a deciding factor," Tawadkar said. The ex-minister has now filed his nomination as Independent candidate from Canacona constituency. Goa Assembly Speaker Anant Shet who represented BJP from Mayem constituency too was denied a ticket.
While initial rumours were rife that Shet will be joining NCP to contest from Mayem, he has refused to file his nomination from any party or as an independent. "I am not going to revolt against the party but may also not work for the candidate," Shet said.
The party also denied candidature to Siddesh Naik, son of Union Minister for State for AYUSH Shripad Naik in Cumbharjua constituency–the only probable candidate the party had from this seat until Congress rebels joined BJP last month. All these three leaders are replaced by Congress imports Vijay Pai Khot (Canacona), Pravin Zyante (Mayem) and Pandurang Madkaikar (Cumbharjua).
Congress has upset several leaders–right from senior leaders like Sangita Parab, Jitendra Deshprabhu, Pratap Gawas and Joaquim Alemao besides young turks like Sunil Kawthankar and Urfan Mulla, who were denied ticket despite their names figuring in the list of probable candidates submitted by the respective block committees.