Goa Assembly polls | NCP, Shiv Sena announce alliance

NCP leader Praful Patel. File

NCP leader Praful Patel. File

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Shiv Sena on Wednesday officially announced their alliance ahead of the upcoming Goa Assembly election, with leaders of both parties underscoring that the NCP and the Sena would have a substantial role in forming a government after the polls.

Expressing regret that a Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)-like alliance with the Congress could not be formed in Goa (as in Maharashtra), NCP leader Praful Patel - the party’s Goa desk in-charge - rebuked the Congress for not taking “a constructive role” in seeking a pre-poll alliance that could have taken on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Both parties are likely to contest on 10-12 seats each in the 40-seat Goa Assembly. Mr. Patel said the NCP-Sena alliance would announce their candidates on Thursday.

“The NCP has been contesting elections in Goa since the formation of the party in 1999. We have always been fighting alongside the Congress, with whom we had an alliance till 2017.The NCP has given Goa several Ministers in the past,” he said.

Remarking that the NCP had always tried to keep like-minded forces together, Mr. Patel said that the Congress’ vacillation after the 2017 election had resulted in BJP forming the government in Goa even though the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the NCP had been ready with their letters of support to the Congress.

“The NCP did its duty in 2017 to give the Congress its fullest support. But despite the latter emerging as the single-largest party with 17 MLAs, it failed to form the government then. I’m sure people of Goa will ask the Congress this question in the forthcoming election,” said the NCP leader.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, too, rued the fact that despite both parties believing in an MVA-like tripartite alliance could only have benefited the Congress, the latter’s leadership in Goa had rebuffed the possibility of a ‘like-minded’ coalition.

“The Congress never said ‘no’ to an alliance [in Goa], but never said ‘yes’ either. Despite [NCP chief] Sharad Pawar, [Maharashtra CM] Uddhav Thackeray and other leaders having talks with the Congress on this count, the party did not give us the due respect we deserved,” Mr. Raut said.

The Sena leader further said that the current politics of defection in Goa would stop once the Sena and the NCP come to power.

“There is a lot of confusion on ground presently in Goa…there is the BJP, the Congress, the TMC and the AAP in the poll fray. Amid all this, we feel that while the NCP and the Sena may not be in position to form a government, we will nonetheless play a respectable role after a government is formed in Goa,” Mr. Raut said.

He further took potshots at the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), remarking that merely inducting defectors from other parties did not constitute a strong party base.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 2:07:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-assembly/ncp-shiv-sena-announce-alliance-for-goa-polls/article38293457.ece