Former Union minister and newly-appointed AICC election observer for Goa, P Chidambaram, on Wednesday arrived in the coastal state for a two-day visit during which he is likely to discuss the party’s strategy with local leaders for the Assembly polls, due in February next year.
A senior Congress leader didn’t rule out the possibility of Chidambaram holding pre-poll alliance talks during his visit.
This is Mr Chidambaram’s maiden visit to Goa after he was appointed the AICC election observer for the coastal state.
Earlier in the day, Mr Chidambaram was received at the Goa airport by state Congress chief Girish Chodankar, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat and other leaders.
Mr Chidambaram, however, refused to answer the questions of reporters.
“Laterla… later… I am here…,” he told media persons.
Mr Chidambaram also didn’t reply when asked if Congress will retain Girish Chodankar as the Goa unit president or replace him with an eye on polls.
Meanwhile, Mr Chodankar didn’t rule out the holding of pre-poll alliance talks during P Chidambaram’s visit.
“Everything related to upcoming elections would be discussed,” he told PTI when asked about the possibility of Chidambaram holding pre-poll discussions.
The Congress won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House in the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, restricting the main opponent BJP to 13. But the BJP moved swiftly to ally with regional parties and came to power under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar, now deceased.
Over years, Congress’s strength in the Legislative Assembly dwindled to five after many of its MLAs switched sides and joined the ruling BJP.
Mr Chodankar had resigned last year after Congress fared poorly in Zilla Panchayat elections in Goa, but the party is yet to accept his resignation.
As per speculation, Mr Chodankar is likely to be replaced with another senior leader in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
A Goa Congress functionary had said Chidambaram will meet leaders and discuss a party strategy for the polls during his visit.
P Chidambaram will interact with PCC office-bearers, frontal bodies of Congress, district and block presidents and receive inputs, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee vice president (Organisation) MK Sheikh had said.
He will visit the Congress House in Panaji on August 25 and travel to the South Goa District Office of the party for a meeting on August 26, according to Sheikh.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already thrown its hat in the ring ahead of the polls, with the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing free power up to 300 units per month if his party is voted to power during his visit to Panaji in July.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)