'BJP open to alliance...', says Goa CM after exit polls predict hung Assembly

Published on Mar 08, 2022 03:21 PM IST

This year, the BJP had decided to go solo, while the Deepak Dhavalikar-led MGP had contested the polls in alliance with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), an arch-rival of BJP

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant.(File Photo)
Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant.(File Photo)

Day after majority of exit polls predicted a hung Assembly in Goa, chief minister Pramod Sawant said the central party leadership is in talks with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) for a post-poll alliance in case the saffron party fails to achieve majority.

Sawant exuded confidence of BJP winning more than 22 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly.

"We will form the government with max seats... I feel I will be given the chance to serve...(as Goa CM) once again. If BJP has said so (his candidature as CM), it'll definitely happen. BJP practices what it preaches," Sawant told ANI after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the capital.

"The party has also kept open the option of seeking the support of independents and the MGP," news agency PTI quoted the Goa chief minister.

MGP is the coastal state's oldest regional outfit. In 2017 polls, Congress had emerged as the single-largest party, however, it failed to reach the majority mark of 21. However, the BJP which had bagged only 13 seats, quickly secured the support of MGP (which won three seats), the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and independents and successfully formed its government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar.

However, the relations went sore after Sawant, who took over chief minister's office following Parrikar's demise, dropped two MGP ministers from the state cabinet in 2019.

This year, the BJP had decided to go solo, while the Deepak Dhavalikar-led MGP had contested the polls in alliance with Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), an arch-rival of BJP

MGP legislator Sudin Dhavalikar on Saturday said his party will decide its stand on any possible alliance after the Goa election results are declared, taking TMC into confidence. However, he also asserted that his party will "never support" Sawant as the chief minister candidate of Goa.

On the other hand, the Congress has said that it is open to an alliance with anti-BJP parties if the Goa elections produced a hung Assembly.

"If any anti-BJP Party wants to come forward and support us, we are ready to take them along," Congress Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao told ANI on being asked whether he is open to a post-poll alliance with Aam Aadmi Party.

The elections to 40-member Goa Assembly were held on February 14. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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