Goa Congress panel to `probe` leaders` role in defeat of nominees

Rattled by the drubbing it got in the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress in Goa is now looking to nail some of its senior leaders.

Panaji: Rattled by the drubbing it got in the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress in Goa is now looking to nail some of its senior leaders who are believed to have played a "dubious" role in defeat of party`s official nominees from both seats.

A disciplinary committee, constituted recently by the Congress high command, has already begun the "ground work" in this regard and is expected to hold its first meeting next week, a committee member told PTI on Thursday.

Former legislator Jitendra Deshprabhu is the convener of the panel, which will submit its report to the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president John Fernandes.

"The committee has begun its ground work. The members are assigned certain tasks which are part of the probe. All the members will meet for the first time, probably next week," said Goa Congress spokesman Sunil Kawathankar, who also is a member on the committee.
However, Kawathankar refused to name the leaders under scanner of the disciplinary committee.

Congress faced a humiliating defeat by losing South Goa and North Goa seats against BJP candidates, and internecine dissension is believed to be one of the major causes for the debacle.

During the campaigning, several party leaders were seen speaking against the official candidates publicly.

According to sources in Congress, the inquiry will also be conducted against its North Goa candidate Ravi Naik, who lost to BJP`s Shripad Naik, for his statement against then prime minister Manmohan Singh in which he had blamed the latter for the party`s trouncing in general elections.
The inquiry committee may also probe party legislator Mauvin Godinho and Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Committee president Valanka Alemao who had refrained from canvassing for the party candidates, they said.

Godinho`s supporters had campaigned for BJP candidate Narendra Sawaikar in South Goa while Valanka was "out of station" during the entire campaigning.

Sawaikar had defeated Congress nominee Aleixo Lourenco.

Former MP Francisco Sardinha, who was denied ticket by the
party, will also be under scanner for "anti-party" activities, along with legislator Atanasio Monserratte, who had publicly admitted that he did not work for Congress` official nominee.

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