Updated: March 8, 2021 6:16:13 am
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party will contest 20-25 seats without any alliance in the Goa legislative Assembly elections scheduled for 2022. The senior Sena leader, who was in Panaji to attend an event, also took stock of the party’s preparation for the polls.
He said that so far, 10-15 candidates were almost finalised for the polls. Next year, he said, the party was hopeful of winning 25 seats in the 40-member assembly.
While the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), an alliance between Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress rules Maharashtra, Raut said there have been no discussions with leaders of NCP about a possible alliance in Goa.
“We certainly have an alliance in Maharashtra. Sharad Pawarji is our leader too. But we have not had any such discussion (about an alliance in Goa) with any party,” Raut said.
In the last Assembly election, the Shiv Sena had contested three seats in an alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Suraksha Manch.
“We want a stable government in Goa. MLAs who are elected from a party should stay in that party and not put themselves up for sale. This is corruption. We feel such MLAs should be beaten with slippers,” said Raut.
“The people of Goa know us. More than any other state, we come to Goa with a right and with love. Goa and Maharashtra are connected by culture, literature, arts, religion. Goa has richly contributed to Maharashtra’s literature. Goans should give us the chance to bring about a change here,” he said.
Raut said the people of Goa are being hoodwinked by the government while casinos cheat the state exchequer. “If I am lying, let them tell me that. Or I am ready to hand over the information I have to Central investigating agencies. Let the government say what we are saying is baseless. The face of Goa and its culture have been defiled by these vulgar activities. The people of Goa will not accept this,” said Raut. While he refrained from saying his party will shut down casinos, he said, “We will certainly discipline them (casinos). We will see what the rules say and crack the whip,” he said.
Touching on the contentious issue of mining in the state, he said that while the protection of the environment is important, mining also supported several livelihoods. “A policy should be framed by the Centre and the state and Goa should be given special concessions,” said Raut.