AAP candidate for Panaji bypoll Valmiki Naik has sworn on an affidavit that he would neither join the BJP nor be part of any BJP-led government if elected. Displaying his affidavit before the media Monday evening, Naik said he took recourse to the unusual move as he was finding it difficult to convince the voters that he would not switch parties or be part of the BJP if he got elected.
“I, the undersigned, if elected as MLA with the blessings of the people of the Panaji constituency in the bypoll of May 19, swear I will not join BJP. I will not support a BJP-led government. I make these two promises on this notarised affidavit,” the affidavit read.
The AAP leader also called upon rival candidates Antanasio Moserrate of Congress and Subash Velingkar of Goa Suraksha Manch to follow suit but claimed that they would be part of the BJP post elections.
The Panaji bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA and former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar. The BJP has fielded Sidharth Kuncalienkar, a top aide of Parrikar and former MLA from the seat.
Naik also said as an AAP candidate, the question was not only of merely becoming an MP or MLA but raising the political standard that has taken a beating due to a spate of defections and rampant poaching of MLAs.
Five MLAs had resigned from their respective parties and joined the BJP after the 2017 assembly polls. Earlier this year, two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar split from the party and merged their breakaway legislative unit with BJP.
Naik also claimed that he had spurned an offer to be the BJP candidate in the 2015 Panaji bypoll after Parrikar was elevated and made the Union Defence Minister.
He said a similar situation had risen in August 2017, when Congress was of the opinion that fielding a common candidate against BJP would increase its prospects of winning.