The Congress announced two candidates for the assembly bypolls in Goa next month on March 29, naming former minister Mahadev Naik from Shiroda and fielding Sudhir Kandolkar from Mapusa.
By-elections are scheduled in Shiroda, Mapusa and another assembly constituency Mandrem on April 23. The same day voting will take place for the two Lok Sabha seats in the coastal state. Naik, a former minister who had quit the BJP last month, will contest from his traditional Shiroda assembly segment in North Goa.
All-India Congress Committee General Secretary Mukul Wasnik cleared the names of both the candidates, who were earlier in the BJP. The opposition party is yet to announce its candidate for the Mandrem assembly seat.
The by-elections in Shiroda and Mandrem were necessitated after their sitting Congress MLAs resigned, defected and joined the ruling BJP. The Mapusa seat fell vacant following the death of its sitting MLA Francis D’Souza of the BJP.
The BJP has already announced its candidates for the three by-elections. Its candidate Subhash Shirodkar is in the fray in Shiroda, while the party has fielded Joshua D’Souza from Mapusa. BJP leader Dayanand Sopte will contest from the Mandrem assembly constituency.
Another assembly constituency, Panaji, fell vacant after the death of its MLA and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on March 17. However, the Election Commission is yet to announce the Panaji bypoll date.
The effective strength of the 40-member Goa assembly currently is 36.