Congress confirms alliance talks with NCP, GFP and MGP to challenge BJP

Congress confirmed on Monday that it was in talks with the NCP, the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to forge an alliance ahead of the Goa Assembly elections to thwart the BJP’s re-election prospects. Speaking to media in Panaji, AICC Goa official Dinesh Gundu Rao said his party was open to connecting with people who understand Goa, its culture and its community. According to him, all these parties wanted to get rid of the “corrupt and communal” government headed by Pramod Sawant.

Dinesh Gundu Rao remarked: “The main objective of this alliance, if it comes to fruition, will be to give a stable government to Goa for 5 years”. He added: “An alliance should take place with proper alignment. The last time the alliance did not have proper alignment. We cannot repeat these mistakes.”

Founded by Dayanand Bandodkar, the MGP was the ruling party in Goa since the first Assembly polls from 1963 to 1979. However, the party gradually lost its grip on the state after the rise of viable alternatives in the form of BJP and Congress. On the other hand, Vijai Sardesai’s Goa Forward Party does not rule out an alliance with TMC either.

Political scenario in Goa

In Goa Assembly polls in 2017, the BJP suffered a heavy blow in the absence of its staunch leader Manohar Parrikar, as it could only win 13 seats, unlike the Congress whose candidates won 17 constituencies. However, the BJP claimed responsibility for the formation of the government with the support of 3 MGP deputies, 3 GFP deputies, two independents and an NCP deputy under the leadership of Parrikar who resigned his post as defense minister. After his death on March 17, 2019, then Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant replaced him.

Deputy CM in Cabinet Parrikar-Sudin Dhavalikar and GFP Chairman Vijai Sardesai were dismissed from the cabinet in the following months. Meanwhile, the BJP consolidated its position after 10 congressmen including Chandrakant Kavlekar, Atanasio Monserrate, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred Dsa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes joined the saffron party. on July 10, 2019. TMC is also looking to make inroads into the state following the weakening of congressional state unity.

Image: ANI

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