PANAJI: State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday announced its first list of 18 candidates for the Zilla Panchayat (ZP) elections, six of whom are sitting ZP members.
Addressing media persons after the meeting of the party's election committee, BJP State president Sadanand Shet Tanavde said, "We had started with the process of finalisation of candidates for the ZP elections from February 22. In constituencies where single names have emerged and considering the winnability, we have decided to announce the first list of 18 candidates. Of these, 14 are in North Goa and four in South Goa and six of these are sitting ZP members."
The ZP candidates announced are Anant Gadekar in Harmal, Dhananjay Shetgaokar in Morjim, Manohar Dhargalkar in Dhargal, Seema Khadpe in Torse, Sanisha Toraskar in Siolim, Manisha Naik in Aldona, Niharika Mandrekar in Anjuna, Dattaprasad Dabholkar in Calangute, Mahesh Sawant in Karapur-Sarvan, Shankar Chodankar in Mayem, Gopal Surlikar in Pale, Sagun Wadkar in Honda, Devyani Gawas in Keri, Rajeshri Kale in Nagargao, Umakant Gaude in Usgao-Ganje, Ulhas Tuyekar in Davorlim, Khushali Velip in Barcem and Shanu Velip in Khola. Tanavde informed that in most constituencies the BJP will field its candidates while in some they will extend support to independent candidates.
"Due to reservations, some sitting members will not be able to contest elections. All the candidates would be announced by February 29," he said.
"Every election is crucial for us and we are confident of winning both North and South Goa with absolute majority," said a confident Tanavde. Refuting the allegations by the Opposition Congress party, Tanavde said, "The process of elections is specified by the State Election Commission which is an independent authority. The Congress should concentrate on their own party."
"BJP contests elections by planning. There is chaos in the Congress. While their legislature wing has one opinion, the party has some other opinion. As there is confusion, they are making unnecessary allegations," Tanavde said adding, "We have already announced 18 candidates, but they must have not even started the process."
When asked to comment on the reservations for the upcoming ZP polls, Tanavde said, "Reservation process is done by the Directorate of Panchayats (DoP) and SEC. It is not done by us. There is no confusion. It is being created by the opponent party as they are not getting any candidates to field for ZP elections.