Amid frosty relations with BJP, the Shiv Sena has said it has initiated talks with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party following the dropping of two of MGP’s members from the Laxmikant Parsekar Cabinet. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the party is in talks with BJP’s estranged alliance partner to have an electoral agreement, but they are in “initial stages”.
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The party already has a pre-poll alliance with rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar’s Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) for the upcoming polls. On December 13, Parsekar dropped two MGP ministers from his Cabinet to “prevent the BJP cadres from getting demoralised” by their outbursts in the poll-bound state, even as the ally chose to continue support to the government, citing “coalition dharma”.
“Goa needs a change from the BJP-led government. We already have a pre-poll alliance with Velingkar. We are also in talks with the MGP and looking for a grand alliance in the state. Velingkar is also in talks with the MGP,” Raut said. Sources said the party is in the process of finalising the manifesto, along with GSM.
Interestingly, the Shiv Sena, despite having its bastion in Konkan, could never leave its footprints in neighbouring Goa in terms of winning seats. This was primarily because of the language issue. While the Shiv Sena bats for Marathi, Goa is primarily a Konkani state.
In 2012, the party contested on three seats and could poll only 210 votes together. In 2007, it contested on seven seats and polled 1,049 votes. Its performance was slightly better in 2002 where it contested 15 seats and bagged 4,946 votes.
In his rally on October 22, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackarey took a jibe at BJP saying, the party made a mistake by letting and helping the saffron party grow in Goa, else it would have had its leader as chief minister long back.
Ever since BJP and the Shiv Sena severed their relations ahead of 2014 assembly polls, breaking their 25-year-old alliance, equations between the two parties have not been the same.
The Sena, now a junior partner in the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, is seen as an “opposition” rather than alliance member. It is also not happy with the portfolio alloted to it, despite being the second largest party in the NDA after BJP. The party has already announced that it would be contest around 200 seats in Uttar Pradesh.