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Goa Assembly polls: Congress, GFP resume tie-up talks

Sources said while the Congress leadership in Delhi had also stepped in to discuss an alliance with the GFP, Vijai Sardesai is expected to visit Delhi soon. The GFP was preparing to contest 12 seats, but the party may get only 7 seats in case of an alliance with the Congress.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
November 19, 2021 4:07:58 am
Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai.(File)

Days after AICC in-charge for Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao said there needs to be an “alignment” with another party before a pre-poll alliance for the assembly elections, talks between the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Congress have resumed.

Sources said while the Congress leadership in Delhi had also stepped in to discuss an alliance with the GFP, Sardesai is expected to visit Delhi soon. The GFP was preparing to contest 12 seats, but the party may get only 7 seats in case of an alliance with the Congress.

GFP President Vijai Sardesai had said in July that the Congress had agreed in principle to an alliance. In the following months, while the Congress remained non-committal, Sardesai met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee during her visit on October 30. Earlier this week, Rao said the Congress was in discussions with GFP, the NCP and the MGP, “because all of them feel that the BJP government should go”.

“We cannot have an alliance when there is no proper alignment. We did not have alignment in 2017 and we can’t repeat those mistakes,” he said. Reacting to Rao’s comment, GFP chief Sardesai said, “I welcome Rao’s statement… Like-minded political parties need to come together.”

The Congress has four MLAs in the Goa Assembly. Its fifth MLA, former chief minister Luizinho Faleiro, quit the party in September to join the TMC. The GFP, which has three MLAs in the 40-member Assembly, is an estranged ally of the BJP and Sardesai earlier served as the deputy CM in the BJP-led government until 2019. GFP MLAs were dropped from the government following the defection of 12 MLAs – 10 from the Congress and two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) – to the BJP in 2019.

May have to take difficult decisions, says Utpal Parrikar

Utpal Parrikar, the son of late defence minister and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, said on Thursday he may have to take “difficult decisions” as he put forward his case for contesting the upcoming state Assembly elections from Panaji.

Utpal, who visited a temple in the presence of his BJP supporters, said, “Manohar Parrikar never got anything easily in his life. It appears that I too will have to fight. I may have to take some difficult decisions and I prayed for the strength to do that.” Choosing a candidate from the Panaji seat may be a dilemma for the BJP. Utpal has sought to fight from the seat once held by his late father, but incumbent MLA Atanasio alias Babush Monserrate has previously won the seat as a candidate from the Congress. Babush was among the ten Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in 2019. (ENS)

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