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After Maharashtra, Shiv Sena looks to topple BJP govt in Goa

By Swapnil Rawal, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 30, 2019 12:47 AM IST

After successfully blocking the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena now wants to oust the former ally from power in the neighbouring Goa, by forging an alliance with Vijay Sardesai’s Goa Forward Party.

“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.

Raut’s statement indicates the party is going through a transformation – from anti-Congress to anti-BJP stance – after parting ways with its ideological twin and ending nearly 30 years of partnership.

“Goa ex-minister and ex-deputy CM Vijay Sardesai is here with his three MLAs, and is forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena. A new political front is taking shape in Goa, just like Maharashtra,” Raut said.

The Rajya Sabha MP claimed there will soon be “magic” in Goa, as some MLAs supporting the BJP government were now in touch with the Shiv Sena. “We are going to Goa…” Raut said, adding, “The people in the state did not like the way the BJP formed the government.”

Sardesai said he and two MLAs from his party met Raut and NCP’s Praful Patel to congratulate them on the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi. “We think the MVA government has been formed on regional identity to work for locals. We intend to recreate such an experiment in Goa to remove the anti-people government, which is working for its own interests and not for the citizens. We believe an alternative is required. We have been back-stabbed by the BJP. We have this common ground with the Shiv Sena. We will speak to more people to remove this anti-people government,” Sardesai said.

The developments follow the Hindutva party joining hands with ideologically-distant Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra to form a coalition government, which has committed itself to a “secular” agenda through a common programme of governance.

In the 2017 elections for Goa’s 40 Assembly seats, the Congress won 17 seats, but could not form the government as the BJP, which won only 13 seats, combined with other outfits to return to power. Since then, the Goa BJP has steadily consolidated and now has 27 MLAs, including the 12, who defected from the Congress.

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