Congress workers spar over former Velim MLA Benjamin Silva induction into the party

Few Congress workers led by Velim Zilla Panchayat member Julio Fernandes and Mahila member Antonetter Das raised objections and urged not to induct leaders who had left the party earlier.
Congress workers spar over former Velim MLA Benjamin Silva induction into the party
Ruckus broke out between two groups of Congress in South Goa on Friday, August 6, 2021

A major ruckus broke out between two groups of Congress supporters over the induction of former Velim MLA Benjamin Silva into the party at Congress’s South Goa district office on Friday.

The South Goa District Committee had organised a function at the district office to induct Silva into the Congress fold in the presence of Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar. However, few Congress workers led by Velim Zilla Panchayat member Julio Fernandes and Mahila member Antonetter Das raised objections and urged not to induct leaders who had left the party earlier.

The party workers also threatened to resign from their primary membership if Silva was given the Congress ticket to contest the forthcoming assembly elections from Velim.

“We are against Benjamin joining; he is going around saying he is going to get a ticket. Next, the party will openly welcome the ten MLAs, who have gone to BJP,” said Julio Fernandes.

Silva, on the other, acknowledged opposition on his re-entry into Congress and said, “Today I have joined the Congress but there were members who were saying I didn’t support them. I want to strengthen the Congress party and work together with the party. In 2012, when I was elected, I didn’t join the BJP; I was with the Save Goa party. Even if not given the ticket, I am ready to work for Congress.”

Meanwhile, Chodankar calmed the crowd of both groups and stated the party cannot deny entry to anyone who wishes to join it and clarified that the party has not promised anyone a ticket. “We cannot stop the entry because he had done anti-Congress in the past. We are not going to discriminate. We want to restore discipline in the party. We are not promising anyone any ticket. We are planning surveys and whichever candidate emerges with credibility will be considered for the ticket. Party discipline is most important, indiscipline of any form will not be tolerated,” said Chodankar

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