The Congress on Thursday announced its first list of eight candidates for the Goa Assembly elections, which is expected to be held early next year.

The Congress is the first party to have announced candidates for the elections, and has done so even before the polling dates have been announced.

The party has fielded former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat from Margao constituency.

The party has fielded Sudhir Kanolkar from Mapusa. He had switched from the Bharatiya Janata Party to the Congress in 2019, according to PTI. He was previously a member of the BJP’s state executive and had also been a municipal councillor.

The party has also fielded former Panaji Mayor Tony Rodrigues from Taleigao.

The other candidates are Rajesh Verenkar from Ponda, Sankalp Amonkar from Marmugao, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco from Curtorim, Yuri Alemao from Cuncolim and Altone D’Costa from Quepem.

The Congress’ Goa chief Girish Chodankar said that the party will release the second list after the party’s Pradesh Election Committee and Central Election Committee reach a consensus, The Times of India reported.

“We had promised that we would give fresh faces, and if you see the first list, most of them are fresh faces,” Chodankar said.

In the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, the Congress had won 17 seats while the BJP got 13 out of the 40 seats. However, the saffron party succeeded in forging an alliance with regional parties and formed the government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar.