Goa polls: Civil society groups field 4 candidates

Coming together, Goa`s civil society groups have thrown their hat in the electoral ring, announcing four candidates for the March 3 assembly polls.

Panaji: Coming together, Goa`s civil society groups have thrown their hat in the electoral ring, announcing four candidates for the March 3 assembly elections.

The four will be backed by over 160 civil society groups, who have been protesting against what they call anti-people policies of the Congress-led coalition government, activists said Tuesday.

"We do not believe in criticizing the system from outside. We`re trying to change the system from within. We`re offering the people a choice and it is for the people to decide whether they want to vote for us," said Yatish Naik, a spokesperson for the Zagrut Goenkarancho Ekvott, the newly-branded political front of the civil society groups.

The four candidates who will take on the might of the national and regional political parties are Pradeep Sangodkar from San Andre constituency, Xavier Almeida from Taleigao constituency, Bismarque Dias from Cumbarjua constituency and Clifton D`Souza from Velim constituency.

"We are not here to win elections by any means. We are here to offer people a clean choice," Naik said.

"The candidates who we support have the backing of 160 village groups. If we have another five years of misrule of the kind we`ve had for the past five years, then Goa will be finished," said Prakash Bandodkar, president of the Pilerne Citizens Forum, one of the civil society groups supporting the four candidates.

Over the last few years, a series of assorted civil society groups have been protesting against what they called "anti-people" policies, especially on land use and about the inability to act on illegal mining.

IANS

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