The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party said ahead of the 4 February assembly elections, it will form an alliance with the newly launched Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena
Mumbai: The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa’s oldest regional party, on Thursday snapped its five-year-old alliance with the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), citing “ideological and functional differences". The MGP, which has three legislators in the 40-member Goa assembly, said that ahead of the 4 February state assembly elections, it will form an alliance with the newly launched Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) and Shiv Sena.
Last month, Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar sacked two MGP ministers—MGP president Pandurang Dhavalikar and his brother Sudin—after they publicly criticised the state government’s functioning. On Thursday, the MGP also declared Sudin Dhavalikar its chief ministerial candidate.
Mint reported last month that MGP was close to breaking its alliance with the BJP and joining the GSM-Shiv Sena alliance. GSM was founded in October last year by Subhash Velingkar, who was chief of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh in Goa, on the issue of protection of Konkani and Marathi languages in the state. Velingkar was relieved of his responsibilities in RSS in August after he announced plans to launch a new political party to take on the BJP. He has accused the BJP government, in particular defence minister and former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, of not keeping the electoral promise of 2012 to stop government grants to English medium schools.
With the GSM-Shiv Sena-MGP alliance shaping up, the BJP, which has 21 members, is all set to go alone in the February polls. “MGP is good riddance for us. It was getting too ambitious and demanding for its worth and we could not take it anymore. In fact, the alliance was practically off when the chief minister sacked the two MGP ministers," said a BJP legislator requesting anonymity.
Like the BJP, its two main rivals—the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party— too have not announced any pre-poll tie-up yet.
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