Congress leader Girish Chodankar who was today appointed as the party’s Goa unit chief, said the biggest challenge before him now was to strengthen the party in the state. Chodankar was appointed as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief for Goa earlier today, replacing Shantaram Naik, who had resigned from the post last month. Talking to PTI over the development, 50-year-old Chodankar, who is considered close to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said, “The biggest challenge before me right now is to strengthen the party organisation in the state.”
“Gone are the days when people would come to a political party. Now it’s the turn of the political parties to reach out to the people,” Chodankar, a teacher by profession, said. His predecessor Shantaram Naik had resigned last month from the post after getting inspired by Rahul Gandhi’s speech during a plenary session, where he had appealed to the elders to make way for the young blood to take over the party affairs.
Chodankar was the national in-charge of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the youth wing of the Congress, between 2011 and 2017. He moved back to Goa ahead of the last year’s assembly polls, in which his party emerged as the single largest party, but failed to form the government.
Chodankar said his seven-year-long stint in Delhi (as NSUI in-charge) and experience of handling various responsibilities will help him in heading the party’s Goa unit. Although he had not contested the February 2017 assembly elections, he had unsuccessfully fought the by-election from Panaji constituency against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar held in August last year.
In the 2002 assembly polls, he had unsuccessfully contested from Margao assembly constituency against the then BJP candidate Digambar Kamat, who later joined Congress party. Chodankar was the president of Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Committee between 2000-2008.