Updated: October 1, 2021 7:41:11 pm
Remarking that Goa had turned into a “political carnival” with AAP and TMC jumping into the fray for the scheduled 2022 Assembly elections, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Friday said his party would contest the elections on its own this time.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Raut said the party has set its sights on casinos in the state. “Hum bandh karenge (We will shut them down). We are opposing casinos and even BJP has had the same stand. We had supported the BJP’s stand in the past.”
When asked to comment on the employment that casinos provided in a tourism-dependent state, Raut said, “You know who comes to casinos? Who are you defending? Drug mafia? Gamblers? Is it written in our Constitution that a tourism state should have only drugs and gambling?” Raut said.
He added that the party would call for a list and examine how many Goans had in fact, got employment from casinos.
An estranged ally of the BJP, Shiv Sena, is the third major political party led by a Chief Minister of another state, that has announced it will contest the Goa assembly polls on its own. While the AAP and the TMC have said they will contest all 40 seats in Goa, Shiv Sena has said that it will contest upto 25 seats.
In the run up to the elections, both Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray would visit Goa, Raut said.
Raut said Goa’s politics was now marred by “shameless” defections and “udya marnyache rashtriya karyakram” (national jumping programmes).
“These jumps are sometimes till Delhi. This time, they have gone up to West Bengal. All the way to Kolkata. It’s a good thing. It’s a big country. Anyone can jump anywhere. But what will Goa get out of this? New options emerge every election,” said Raut.
“Goa has also had a special relationship with the Shiv Sena. This is not about winning or losing elections. We always come to Goa. We will contest 22-25 seats with all our strength and by ourselves. This is our decision – Uddhav Thackeray’s decision,” said Raut.
Taking potshots at AAP and TMC, Raut said, “It has turned into a political carnival here. Everyone just comes to Goa. It has become a laboratory. Someone comes from West Bengal, someone comes from Delhi to contest election. Let them. Anyone can contest the election. But Goa and Maharashtra have always shared an emotional bond and they always will,” said Raut.
In 2017, Shiv Sena had contested three seats in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and former Goa RSS chief Subhash Welingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch. The party has, however, not tasted electoral success in the state so far.
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