Patto/Goa: The Congress Party released the list of its candidates fielded in 36 of 37 seats in Goa ahead of the assembly polls in the state, Asian News International reported. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Senior leader P. Chidambaram said that the last candidate would also be announced shortly.
Chidambaram said that the party met all the 36 candidates the previous day, and they had pledged to remain united with Congress and serve their full terms in a united government if elected.
Congress will fight unitedly, he said and expressed his hope that Goa's people will keep their faith in Congress and elect the party to rule.
When asked about Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's remark that every vote for Congress is a vote to BJP, Chidambaram said that Congress has strength, membership and deep roots in Goa's society. It has sincerely served the Goan people in history. If people vote for Congress, they will get a Congress government, he said.
Regarding a chief ministerial face in Goa, he said that all candidates would be met after nomination proceedings are over. The party will take all their opinions into account and discuss with them whether they want to announce Congress CM before the election or after, he said. Goa polls are scheduled on February 14, and counting will be done on March 10.
Chidambaram responded to a query that it was unfortunate that the "Abide with me" hymn was dropped from Republic Day celebrations. The hymn, though Christian, was secular and was Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn, he said. It is as old as 1847 and has been played in the Republic Day celebrations until now. Dropping it will hurt many, he added.
The government had decided to drop the hymn, which was played during the 'Beating Retreat' ceremony, which used to mark the end of the Republic Day celebrations. The government reasoned that the hymn symbolised India's colonial past. The change comes a day after the 'eternal flame' of Amar Javan Jyothi was moved from India Gate to the National War Museum.