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Blow To BJP: Mahadev makes overtures to Congress for Shiroda ticket

Panjim: Already reeling by the blow from MGP president Pandurang Dhavalikar, who intends to contest the by-elections in Shiroda, the BJP now has to contend with a party leader who has announced he is willing to enter the fray in the constituency on a Congress ticket.
In what could upset the prospects of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Shiroda, their local MLA and former minister Mahadev Naik has expressed his willingness to contest on a Congress ticket from Shiroda, if the party offers him the ticket.
The Shiroda seat has fallen vacant with the resignation of Congress MLA Subhash Shirodkar in October last year to join BJP.
“BJP has already decided their candidate by inducting Shirodkar in the party. My aim is to defeat Shirodkar. The people have told me that I can do it by contesting on Congress ticket,” he said. “Some people have done a survey in Shiroda constituency, finding of which is that, if I contest on a Congress ticket, I will surely win,” the former Industries Minister added.
Naik, who was defeated by Shirodkar in the 2017 Assembly election, had earlier conveyed to party State leadership his dissatisfaction over the induction of his rival and had warned to work against Shirodkar in the by-polls. Naik recalled that he had an 18-year-long stint in Congress between 1994-2002 before contesting the elections on a BJP ticket in 2007.
Asked if he would prefer to contest as an Independent, Naik replied in the negative and said, “If I contest, it would be only on a Congress ticket.”
Congress has a couple of aspirants in the constituency in Mahila wing member Diya Shetkar who is making her presence in the constituency and Hemant Samant who has been promoted to Pradesh Congress Committee.
Following Shirodkar’s resignation, Congress had dissolved the block committee and is currently in the process of reconstituting it. [H]

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