LS polls: Cong observer meets party workers


 A central  observer  of the Congress met party workers on Sunday apparently hunting for prospective North and South Goa Lok Sabha candidates, even as senior leaders in the state sought to play down saying  that search for candidates  was not the reason for his visit.

The observer, Mr C Rayadu from Andhra Pradesh  interacted  with party men on Sunday morning.
During the last general elections the South Goa seat was fought and won by the Congress, while its ally NCP fought and narrowly lost the North Goa seat.
“A central observer came and held meetings today,” the Goa pradesh Congress committee president, Mr Subhash Shirodkar told the media, but denied that the visit had any thing to do with the Lok Sabha elections.
“There are still almost 15 months for the elections — a lot of time,” he observed when asked about whether the Congress was already readying itself for early parliamentary elections. However, Congress sources said the observer spoke to prospective candidates in a bid to evaluate the strength of the party.
The visit assumes significance after the pressure the UPA government is facing at the Centre on various issues and the withdrawal of support by one of the allies.
The Congress has its present sitting MP in the South Goa, Mr Francisco Sardinha. However, former PWD minister and South Goa strongman, Mr Churchill Alemao too is vying for the ticket to regain some semblance of political power after he and his three  family members lost the assembly elections in which the Congress  was badly routed and its ally the NCP was wiped out. [NT]