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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

GFP rules out merger with TMC, keeps alliance door open

While he had been calling for a “united opposition” to defeat the BJP, the GFP chief said more and more parties entering the poll fray and the opposition’s failure to unite would only benefit the ruling party.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
October 27, 2021 10:07:32 pm
The Vijay Sardesai-led GFP is preparing to contest 12 seats in the forthcoming Assembly polls. (Facebook)

Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai Wednesday rejected the overtures by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), saying his was a party rooted in Goa and that there was no question of merging it with another.

“Those who speak of merging our identity do not understand who we are. Goa Forward Party was born in Goa, grew up in Goa and will always stand up and fight for Goa. My party is made in Fatorda (his assembly constituency). This is who we are. We will always protect our identity and will never merge with another party,” Sardesai said.

Sardesai, whose party has three MLAs in the 40-member state Assembly, however, added: “I am still open to an alliance with a party that is serious about defeating the BJP.”

While multiple political parties in the state have been holding discussions with each other ahead of the Assembly elections, it was learnt that the TMC, the latest entrant in the state’s political landscape, was in talks with Sardesai.

The GFP is preparing to contest 12 seats in the forthcoming Assembly polls. According to sources, Sardesai had met political strategist Prashant Kishore, who is managing the TMC’s poll campaign, and may have been offered the position of the TMC’s president in Goa.

But the GFP cadre was not comfortable with the “merger”, which, they felt, may not sit well with their voters.

“Your party symbol is like your baby. You cannot disown it,” Sardesai told The Indian Express.

In July, Sardesai had said that the Congress had agreed to an “in-principle” alliance with the GFP, but has since been left hanging.

Sardesai, who has been calling for a “united opposition” to defeat the BJP for over a year, felt that with more and more parties entering the poll fray in the state, the opposition’s failure to unite would only stand to benefit the ruling party.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, is expected to arrive in Goa on Thursday evening.

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