Former Union Finance Minister and senior AICC observer for the 2022 Goa assembly polls P. Chidambaram on Saturday promised to put the party’s “shameful chapter” of offering tickets to habitual defectors behind in the upcoming elections.
Speaking at a party function in Canacona town, 70 km from Panaji, Chidambaram also said that the challenge for the Congress party ahead of the election was to redeem the reputation and honour of the Congress party.
“I was shocked to learn that a defector was given the ticket not once, not twice, but thrice. That is a shameful chapter of the Congress history. I have come here to assure you that the shameful chapter is closed. Never again never again will we repeat that shameful chapter,” Chidambaram said.
“I promise you on behalf of the leadership of the Congress party that that this shameful chapter will never be repeated again in Goa,” the All India Congress Committee (AICC) official added.
“Our challenge is to redeem the reputation and honour of the Congress party. I know that the Congress workers have been totally loyal to the party. Every time you elected a Congress candidate as the MLA. That victory is your victory. You worked hard. You campaigned among the constituency, you went door by door,” Chidambaram said, adding that it was unfortunate that after getting elected Congress MLAs, quit the party and joined the BJP.
“While you remained loyal to the party, the winning candidate betrayed the party,” Chidambaram said.
He also said that henceforth, Congress candidates for the assembly polls would be selected based on nomination by active members of the Congress block committees.
“We will select a candidate only among names selected by you. You have to select names based on loyalty, integrity, acceptability among the workers and number four is winnability among the larger electorate,” Chidambaram also said.
A total of 13 Congress MLAs have quit the Congress, after getting elected on the Congress ticket, before defecting to the Bharatiya Janata Party since 2017.