Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi landed in Goa on a day-long visit, during which the party’s candidates will take a pledge of loyalty in his presence.
The candidates will vow not to defect after elections. In 2017, the Congress won 17 of 40 seats in Goa and the BJP won 13.
But 15 Congress MLAs switched to the BJP in 2019, led by the Congress’s leader of opposition, Babu Kavlekar, who was made Deputy Chief Minister by the BJP.
“We have taken a promise in front of temple, mosque and church. Today, we are taking an oath in front of Rahul-ji, our boss,” Congress candidate Sankalp Amonkar said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier made candidates sign anti-defection affidavits.
Rahul Gandhi was earlier scheduled to visit on February 2, but his visit was deferred because of parliament and his visit to Raipur for the launch of a memorial for martyrs.
Rahul Gandhi will also interact with representatives of the Tourism Sector, Anganwadi staff and others.
He will conduct a door-to-door campaign at Sada, Mormugao and meet with candidates later today.
Goa will vote on February 14. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.