Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party hints it may go with BJP in Goa2 min read . Updated: 10 Mar 2017, 01:44 AM IST
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party indicated it may go back to the BJP if it emerged as the single largest party but lacked a majority
Mumbai: The sands are shifting in Goa’s politics as friends who parted ways before the assembly polls are back together two days ahead of election results.
Earlier this week, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) rebel Subhash Velingkar merged his rebel RSS unit with the parent organization. Velingkar had left the RSS and founded the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) in October to fight the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which it said failed to support the state’s local languages.
The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which had walked out of the alliance with the BJP just ahead of the elections and joined the GSM-Shiv Sena that Velingkar formed, was quick to follow. The party indicated it may go back to the BJP if it emerged as the single largest party but lacked a majority.
An MGP leader, who did not want to be identified, said the party would go back to BJP even if the Congress emerged as the single largest party. “My prediction is the BJP is winning around 15 seats and the Congress will win around 10-12. This situation could reverse as all 40 constituencies have three to four-cornered fights. MGP is hopeful of getting 8-to-10 seats. The rest will be independents and Aam Aadmi Party," the MGP leader said.
He said even if the Congress won 15 seats and BJP 10-to-12, the MGP would still go with BJP. “There is some similarity between MGP and BJP ideology. Also, we have worked with BJP all these five years since 2012 elections. Congress in Goa is still identified as the most corrupt party," he said.
Most exit polls out on Thursday predicted a close contest in Goa with no party or alliance getting a simple majority.
The C-Voter survey gave 15-21 seats to BJP and 12-18 to Congress. This survey gave 0-4 seats to the Aam Aadmi Party and 2-4 seats to others. The MRC exit poll projected 15 seats for BJP, 10 for Congress, 8 for AAP, and 7 for others.
Velingkar was relieved by the RSS leadership for his political plans. He said before the elections that the alliance of GSM-MGP-Shiv Sena was formed with the sole intention of defeating the BJP in Goa. He also established a rebel RSS unit in Goa where he was joined by several RSS volunteers. Velingkar led the alliance’s election campaign against BJP, in particular against defence minister and former Goa chief minister.
“I have also stated that the GSM and Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch will continue their work. The GSM will not go with BJP at any cost," Velingkar said on the phone. He, however, conceded that the MGP was an independent party and free to take its own decisions. “MGP is free to support BJP or any party that it chooses to go with. GSM will never go with BJP," Velingkar said. GSM contested 5 seats while Shiv Sena fielded three candidates. MGP contested the rest.
The MGP leader quoted earlier said the party, even when it was part of the alliance, had kept its options open. “On the issue of medium of instruction in elementary schools which resulted in the formation of GSM and Velingkar going against BJP and RSS, MGP did not make any comment throughout the election campaign. Our position is not as rigid as that of GSM," he said, indicating MGP was ready to work with BJP even when the latter continued its policy of giving grants to English medium schools.