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Goa polls: After Sanjay Raut’s ‘BJP using money power’ jibe, Fadnavis says Sena competing against NOTA votes

🔴 Fadnavis, who is on a four-day Goa tour, said, “They (Shiv Sena) are fighting the election to make inroads in at least one seat where they can save its deposit.”

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 13, 2022 12:48:53 pm
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis (File)

Ahead of the February 14 Goa Assembly election, estranged alliance partners Shiv Sena and BJP seem to have taken their battle from Maharashtra to the neighbouring state and locked horns in an ugly war of words.

A day after Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the BJP is using money power in the polls, Opposition leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis dismissed Sena as a poll player in Goa.

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Fadnavis, who is on a four-day Goa tour, said, “They (Shiv Sena) are fighting the election to make inroads in at least one seat where they can save its deposit.”

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister, who has covered more than a dozen segments across Panaji, Margoa and Vasco during his visit to Goa, added, “Shiv Sena is competing against NOTA (None Of The Above) vote share. It has been observed that Sena has never been able to get ahead of the total votes polled under NOTA.”

“The BJP is confident of forming the government in Goa. Our campaign is on development and good governance. People have seen the BJP government and will judge us by our work,” he asserted.

During his tour, Fadnavis is holding booth level meetings to strategise state unit organisational matters.

Wednesday, Raut had announced that his party is taking an initiative to form a mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) by getting all political parties against BJP on one platform. He had also said, “All non-BJP parties should unite, including Congress, to keep BJP out of power.”

Reacting to Raut’s claim, Fadnavis said, “The Congress is a clever and practical party. It will not have any alliance with Shiv Sena in Goa. Congress reckons that a partnership with Shiv Sena will come at a huge price and adversely affect the sizeable number of minority votes loyal to Congress.”

Speaking about desertions within BJP, Fadnavis said, “All those who are facing anti-incumbency are exploring other options to secure a ticket for self or family members. In any case the number is small. It does not impact BJP which is a cadre-driven organisation. We work at the booth level and our dedicated workers are our strength.”

BJP is also cautiously monitoring NCP president Sharad Pawar’s moves in Goa. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel, who is in Goa, is engaged in talks with Congress.

If NCP leaders are to be believed, Pawar is making an attempt to get all non-BJP forces on a common platform. At present, NCP, Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress seem to be the likely partners.

Congress has remained non-committal. State Congress leaders in Maharashtra said, “The final decision will be taken by our high command in Delhi.” Moreover, Congress is a bigger party compared to NCP, Sena and Trinamool Congress in Goa. So, conceding a sizeable number of seats to them is unlikely.

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