The BJP’s first list of 22 candidates for Goa includes five Christians including a former state tourism minister who joined the party recently. The BJP’s Central Election Committee had met in Delhi last night to finalise the first list of candidates for the tiny coastal state going to polls on March 3. Catholics constitute a substantial 27 percent of state’s population of about 14 lakh.
Mathany Saldanha, a former tourism minister, who was a minister in an erstwhile BJP-led government in the state as a nominee of United Goans Democratic Party, will be in the fray from Cortalim constituency. He will cross swords with Caetan Xavier, a Catholic leader, of the Congress in the Christian-dominated constituency.