NCP leaders Goa faction revolt over the new entry

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Two senior most leaders of the Goa NCP wing had resigned over the issue of inclusion of Mr. Suhas Walavaikar as state NCP president. Former cabinet minister Jose Philip D’Souza resigned from his primary membership along with the party’s most visible face and spokesperson, Trajano D’Mello on Sunday. Mr. D’Souza is the senior vice president and Mr. D’Mello is the vice president. D’Mello said that he and D’Souza had faxed their joint resignation letter to the party’s national president Sharad Pawar in Delhi. Their decision is final and they will not take back the resignations, another 10 members are on their way to submit their resignation, the situation will be cleared by Monday” D’Mello said.

The names of the members planning to resign by Monday are two vice presidents, Salim Sayed and Prakash Kalangutkar, along with two general secretaries Subhash Kinalkar and Gregory Fernandes and other members. Informed Mr. D’Mello, He assured to brief the media on Monday to announce details.  Walavaikar was appointed state NCP president on April 10 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of earlier president Nilkanth Halarnkar on February 28.

According to Mr. D’Mello, who has been the chief NCP spokesperson in Goa, claimed Walavaikar was not even a member of the party and that the move “was a disgrace to the party”. “The question is not even whether he is a member of the party. The question is what is his contribution to the party and what is his contribution to society,”he said. Apparently, the reson behind the appointment is the involvement of money, according to the sources earlier the post was offered to the senior-most person in the party, Jose Philip D’Souza. But there were questions about who would pick the tab of around 2-lakh to run the party in the state, including the rent for the party office. It is alleged that NCP mahila chief Fermeena Khaunte, of whom, Walavaikar is the legal counsel, persuaded the party high command to appoint him as party president by assuring to arrange the party’s administrative finances in Goa.

According to Mr. Bhosle the story of appointment of Mr. Walvaikar has another side.  He said that the party set-up in Goa was hoping that D’Souza would take over the responsibility of party president after Halarnkar’s exit but D’Souza never showed any interest. Even when party observer Bhasker Jadhav came to Goa and interviewed several aspirants to the post, D’Souza never made a claim. So when Walavaikar showed interest, the party leadership met him and selected him, he said. Asked whether Walavaikar was a member, Bhosale said he will have to check the records.

Though Mr. Walvaikar said that he will try to convince Mr. Dsouza and others to withdraw their resignations in the interest of the party.  He said he had joined the party in 2011, canvassed for Khaunte in the March 2012 assembly elections and “worked for the party in general”. Following the news of revolt in the party, the national leadership of the party initiated the damage control exercise by bringing the party general secretary Mr. Praful Patel in the picture who intervened into the situation putting the process of appointment on hold for the time being and talks with the group opposing his selection.

Source : PTI

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