Goa Assembly polls | NCP rules out alliance with Congress in Goa

NCP leader Praful Patel. File

NCP leader Praful Patel. File

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday ruled out any alliance with the Congress in the coming Goa Assembly elections on grounds that the latter had not responded favourably to seat-sharing. The Sharad Pawar-led party, however, stated that it would fight the polls in alliance with the Shiv Sena.

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Praful Patel, who is the NCP’s Goa in charge, said the Congress believed it could win the 40-seat elections on its own and that it did not need anyone’s help. “The Congress believes that they can win Goa on their own strength even after losing 15 of its 17 MLAs [to other parties like the BJP and the TMC]. Every day, the situation in Goa is so fluid and that if every party thinks they can win on their own, it is up to them to decide… We [the NCP] are a responsible party. While we have an alliance with the Congress and the Sena in Maharashtra, the Congress has its own views in Goa,” he told reporters after arriving in the coastal State.

Mr. Patel clarified that the NCP, which had been traditionally contesting the Goa elections along with the Congress, would not be talking with the latter any more on alliance.

The NCP was quite capable of fighting and winning a reasonable number of seats in Goa, the former Union Minister claimed. The Sena had expressed its desire to fight along with the NCP and that like-minded parties were welcome to join the alliance, he observed.

He clarified that Mr. Pawar had not spoken with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on forming an alliance. “The TMC is a new factor in Goa. Good luck to them in contesting the election,” he remarked.

Both the NCP as well as the Sena are to announce their list of candidates on Wednesday as well as reveal the seat-sharing arrangements.

Sanjay Raut’s charge

Meanwhile, Sena MP Sanjay Raut hit out at the BJP for ‘blocking’ Utpal Parrikar’s ticket for the Panaji Assembly seat, which had been held by his father, the late BJP leader and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

“Manohar Parrikar’s son is being insulted by the BJP… Utpal is being made to run from pillar to post to secure a ticket. We [the Shiv Sena] are not speaking from a political point of view when we are saying that all parties must support Utpal if he decides to contest…today, the BJP is known in Goa only because of Manohar Parrikar. Those people in the Goa BJP who have become big due to the late Mr. Parrikar are now behaving disrespectfully towards Utpal Parrikar,” said Mr. Raut, who will be arriving in Goa on Wednesday.

BJP Goa in charge C.T. Ravi said Mr. Utpal was being “used as a tool” and that the latter would remain with the BJP. “Utpal is a BJP worker, and he will stay with the BJP and work for the party. Manohar Parrikar always worked for the party and never brought his family into politics,” he stated.

Hitting out at the AAP, the Shiv Sena, the TMC and the Congress, he said that while all these parties were talking about supporting Mr. Utpal, the Congress never helped Manohar Parrikar, even when the latter was ailing.

The BJP, too, is to announce its first list of candidates on Wednesday, while AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has reached Goa to announce the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 5:27:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-assembly/goa-assembly-polls-ncp-rules-out-alliance-with-congress-in-goa/article38287462.ece