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Monday, January 17, 2022

Goa: Congress says will work out ‘nitty-gritties’ of GFP tie-up; TMC calls alliance ‘unholy’

A Twitter war also broke out between the TMC and the Goa Forward Party, with each tweeting old videos of the other.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
December 1, 2021 10:42:42 pm
Goa Forward Party MLAs Vijay Sardesai and Vinod Palyekar, Independent MLA, Prasad Gaonkar with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia)

A day after the Congress and Goa Forward Party joined forces ahead of the state Legislative Assembly elections, AICC in-charge for Goa, Dinesh Gundu Rao, said both the GFP and Independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar have given their ‘support’ to the Congress, and the nitty-gritties will be worked out. He also said that the party was aiming at announcing its first list of election candidates by December 10.

“Both GFP and Prasad Gaonkar have said they are fully with the Congress. It’s a support and the nitty-gritties will be worked out here. They have met Rahul Gandhi and said openly they will support the Congress and defeat the BJP,” Rao said. He, however, used the word ‘alliance’ sparingly.

Reacting to the development, Goa BJP chief Sadanand Tanavade said whether there actually was an alliance between the two parties “was a question on everybody’s mind”.

“If a national party is forming an alliance, should the party’s state president be there or not? I did not see Girish Chodankar in the picture (of Rahul Gandhi, GFP President Vijai Sardesai and others). Secondly, their election in-charge P Chidambaram was also not seen in the picture.”

Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Chodankar did not attend the meeting between Gandhi, GFP and Gaonkar on Tuesday. Rao, however, said “everyone is on board” and Chodankar had stayed back because he was to address an important press conference. On Tuesday, Chodankar had alleged that a minister in the BJP government had sexually exploited a woman and misused his office, an charge the BJP has rejected.

Asked about seat-sharing arrangements with GFP, Rao said, “All those things we will decide. We are the leader of the alliance. This alliance or whatever it is that is going to be formed, we are the leader of the alliance. So in our manifesto, we will take inputs from everyone. If any other Independent wants to support us, we will take their inputs also.”

Unholy alliance: TMC’s Mahua Moitra

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress, which is trying to make a mark in Goa, called the Congress- GFP alliance ‘unholy’. TMC Goa in-charge Mahua Moitra said, “The GFP had gone overnight and entered into a deal with the BJP (in 2017) and allowed them to form the government even though people had not given them the mandate. Please be careful of this unholy alliance. If you want to defeat the BJP, the only way out is the TMC.”

A Twitter war also broke out between the TMC and the GFP, with each tweeting old videos of the other. While TMC pulled out videos of Sardesai attacking the Congress before the 2017 state elections and called the alliance the “great betrayal”, the GFP dug out much a much older video of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, in which she had said in a TV interview that the BJP was their ‘natural ally’ and the option of returning to the NDA was open.

While Sardesai had met Banerjee in Goa on October 30, discussions between the two parties fell through. Gaonkar had also pledged support to the TMC, but retracted.

NCP MLA rules out alliance with Congress

The NCP’s lone MLA Churchill Alemao who returned from a visit to Kolkata, said on Wednesday that he was not willing to forge an alliance with Congress. He said he had not decided to join any political party yet, but was determine to oust the BJP.

Earlier, the NCP leader had asked the Congress to make up its mind on a possible alliance. He said that the Congress had shut its doors to defectors but was now forging an alliance with someone who was a minister in a BJP government until he was dropped from the cabinet.

Congress invites suggestions for manifesto

The Congress Wednesday invited people to give their suggestions for the party’s manifesto. Rao said a draft manifesto was ready and the top issues should be finalised in two-three days. He also said that the party was aiming at announcing its first list of election candidates by December 10.

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