Political parties huddle after Shiv Sena’s claims of ‘Maha Aghadi’ in Goa

Updated on Nov 29, 2019 06:43 PM IST
Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai with two MLAs in tow travelled to Mumbai to meet the Shiv Sena top leadership.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut announced in Maharashtra that the party will try to recreate their ‘magic’ in Goa.(PTI PHOTO.)
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut announced in Maharashtra that the party will try to recreate their ‘magic’ in Goa.(PTI PHOTO.)
Hindustan Times, Panaji | ByGerard de Souza

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s claims that Goa will be the next target for the Maha Aghadi has caused a flutter in the state with the ruling party swiftly denying that the government was under any threat while a bemused Congress questioned Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai’s newfound anti-BJP stance.

Unceremoniously sacked from the government he so infamously helped form and eager to carve out a political space for himself after having antagonized both the left and right leaning parties in Goa, Sardesai with two MLAs in tow travelled to Mumbai to meet the Shiv Sena leadership.

“We three of the Goa Forward have met Sanjay Raut and also Praful Patel of the NCP. We had gone to congratulate them on the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. We intend to have such an experiment recreated in Goa so as to bring an alternative to the anti-people government of Pramod Sawant which is working for itself for their self interest and for their pecuniary interest but not for the interest of Goa,” Sardesai said.

“We believe that an alternative is required. We have been backstabbed by the BJP after being responsible for the formation of that government. A similar fate happened to the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and on that point we have common ground. We believe that we will interact with more people who are genuinely interested to work, to get rid of this anti-people government in Goa,” Sardesai said.

What followed was an announcement by Sanjay Raut in Maharashtra that the party will try to recreate their ‘magic’ in Goa. “After Maharashtra it is Goa, and then we will go to other states. We want to make a non-BJP political front in this country,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters in Mumbai on Friday morning.

“Former deputy CM of Goa Vijay Sardesai is here along with three MLAs and is forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena. A new political front is taking shape in Goa, just like it happened in Maharashtra,” Raut said.

Raut’s announcement put a cat among the pigeons in Goa with members of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Nationalist Congress Party both reduced to just a lone MLA in Goa and quick to admit that they were in talks with the ‘Maha Aghadi’ leaders in Maharashtra to pull off a similar action in Goa.

Ironically, it was Sardesai who was accused of backstabbing like-minded political parties in Goa, to help subvert the mandate of the 2017 Assembly elections and help the BJP, which was reduced from 21 to 13 in the 40-member Goa assembly, to come to power in the state.

The BJP has since gone on a poaching spree and has snared 12 Congress MLAs and two MGP MLAs to take its numbers up to 27 despite the blow of losing former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and former Deputy Chief Minister Francisco Souza earlier this year.

However, the Government dismissed claims that it was unstable.

“They can continue to dream. Our government is strong under the leadership of Dr Pramod Sawant and looking at his leadership ten Congress MLAs have joined. There is no doubt that this government will last the full term, no one will have the gall to shake this government. Even the next five years will be ours. The people have recognized the Bahujan Samaj neta,” Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar who himself was poached from the MGP said.

The Congress too dismissed Vijai Sardesai’s claims.

“There is no front today. Is it a legislative front or a political front which he is talking about?” Goa Congress spokesperson Trajano D’Mello said while questioning Sardesai’s insolence in speaking of an anti-BJP front when he himself helped foist an ‘illegitimate’ BJP government upon the people of Goa in 2017.

The BJP has a strength of 27 in the 40 member house while the Congress which was elected the single largest party is reduced to five MLAs. The MGP and the NCP have one MLA each while the Goa Forward has three MLAs.

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