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TMC, MGP to contest Goa polls in alliance

The parties are yet to decide on a seat-sharing formula but MGP is looking to contest from 12 seats for elections to the 40-seat House.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: December 6, 2021 10:39:35 pm
TMC leader Mahua Moitra along with MGP president Deepak Dhavalikar announced the two parties will contest the Goa Assembly polls together.

The TMC and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Monday announced that the two parties will contest the upcoming Goa Assembly polls in alliance.

TMC MP and Goa state in-charge Mahua Moitra said, “We are announcing formally a pre-poll alliance with the MGP and with this, we believe that the people of Goa who were looking for an alternative to get rid of the BJP government in the state should look no further.”

Claiming that the alliance is sure to form the state government, Moitra said, “This alliance between the MGP and the TMC is a wonderful blend of both the Trinamool’s fighting spirit and the MGP’s deep-rooted history in Goa. This union will take forward the combine unit in Goa.”

MGP president Deepak Dhavalikar in a separate announcement said the decision to contest the polls in alliance with the TMC was taken unanimously at the party’s central committee meeting on Monday.

“We will contest the upcoming election in an alliance with the TMC..The agenda is to keep the BJP and the Congress out (of power),” Dhavalikar said.

The parties are yet to decide on a seat-sharing formula but MGP is looking to contest from 12 seats for elections to the 40-seat House.

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TMC has new friends

The MGP has a traditional Hindu voter base in certain constituencies in both North and South Goa and broadly appeals to the same demographic as the ruling BJP. Thus, its alliance with TMC may worry the BJP. As Goa's oldest regional force, MGP's alliance with the TMC may also bring a more ‘Goanness’ to the alliance since the TMC has been portrayed by its political opponents as a party from ‘outside’.

Dhavalikar said discussions regarding seats were to begin Monday onwards. “They (TMC) have agreed in principle, that is why we are taking the discussion forward,” said Dhavalikar.

Earlier on Monday, speaking to reporters at the MGP office in Panaji, Dhavalikar said, “We have decided that we will go with the party that agrees with our demands. If we ally with the TMC, some other good parties may also join us later.”

While both parties announced the alliance separately, Moitra said that when TMC chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrives in Goa on December 13, there will be a more formal event where leaders of both parties will share the stage.

Asked about a possible alliance with AAP, Moitra said, “Nothing is in the pipeline as of now.”

Meanwhile, TMC Rajya Sabha MP and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro said, “We are soon going to have the second liberation of Goa…TMC had given a clarion call to all Goans to get united and be part of this movement. They (MGP) have also realised, having worked with the BJP… the best thing that Goa deserves is a new government under the TMC, which has got ideals.”

After the 2017 Assembly polls, the MGP with three MLAs had supported the BJP in forming the government under then CM Manohar Parrikar. After Parrikar’s death, senior MGP leader Ramkrishna alias Sudin Dhavalikar was made deputy CM.

However, after 12 MLAs — two from the MGP and 10 from the Congress — defected to the BJP, giving it full majority in the House, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had dropped Sudin Dhavalikar from his cabinet.

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