‘Rivals targeted me and my family, I told Rahul’

PANJIM: Former Chief Minister Churchill Alemao today lashed out at his opponents in the Congress Party, whom he identified as led by Margao MLA and also former Congress chief minister Digambar Kamat, for targeting him and his family during their interactions with AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.

Alemao also asserted that in his presence the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi did not disapprove of the party giving nominations to kin of various prominent political leaders. He added: “In fact, I told Rahul Gandhi that it is because of Digambar Kamat that the Congress Party has been defected in the Assembly election.”

Alemao said that ardent efforts were made by his rivals to ensure that he and his daughter were defeated and reiterated that his opponents had allegedly rigged the Electronic Voting Machines.

The former Navelim MLA along with three other family members including his daughter Valanka, brother Joaquim Alemao and nephew Yuri Alemao who all suffered defeats in the March 2012 Assembly poll, were “targets of various rival factions within the party”.

As far as his future plans and speculation of him contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll, he said he was “interested in contesting the South Goa seat on the Congress Party ticket.” He however refrained from commenting on his plan of action in case he was denied a Congress ticket.

He added that he “has the capacity to win the seat for the Party”, claiming he could have “even won the Cortalim by-poll if I had been given the ticket”. [H]