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Goa Polls: Congress Accuses TMC, AAP Of Trying To Divide Secular Votes & Ensure BJP's Win

The cracks in the opposition camp widened as Congress openly accused AAP and TMC of seeking to divide "secular votes" in the upcoming Goa Assembly polls. 

Goa polls, Congress

Image: PTI


The cracks in the opposition camp widened as Congress openly accused AAP and TMC of seeking to divide "secular votes" in the upcoming Goa Assembly polls. Addressing a press conference on October 3, AICC Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao asserted that Congress will not only take on the ruling BJP but also forces which want to ensure the saffron party's victory in the state. At the same time, he clarified that the Sonia Gandhi-led party is open to forming an alliance with like-minded outfits who believe in secularism.

Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao remarked, "There are two forces working. One force is the fascist force of BJP which wants to completely control this country, completely keep everything under its command. They are trying to create an authoritarian state using the power of money. The second thing that is happening in Goa, the parties which are operating here to ensure that BJP wins. They are not working here to see that they win or the secular front wins."

"We are ready to talks with like-minded parties who have worked for many years in Goa and believe in secular philosophy. Recently, the leadership advised us to finalise an alliance after talking to like-minded parties. Congress is ready to do so in the interest of Goa," he added.

The political scenario in Goa

In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, BJP suffered a big blow in the absence of its stalwart leader Manohar Parrikar as it could win only 13 seats in contrast to Congress whose candidates won in 17 constituencies. However, BJP staked claim to form the government with the support of 3 MGP MLAs, 3 GFP MLAs, two Independents and an NCP MLA under the leadership of Parrikar who resigned as the Defence Minister. After he passed away on March 17, 2019, the then Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant replaced him.

Deputy CMs in the Parrikar Cabinet- MGP chief Sudin Dhavalikar and GFP president Vijai Sardesai were sacked from the Cabinet in the next months. Meanwhile, BJP consolidated its position after 10 Congress MLAs including Chandrakant Kavlekar, Atanasio Monserrate, Jeniffer Monserratte, Francis Silveira, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Cleaofacio Dias, Wilfred Dsa, Nilkant Halarnkar and Isidor Fernandes joined the saffron party on July 10, 2019. Both AAP and TMC are seeking to make inroads in the state in the wake of a weakened Congress state unit. 

TMC received a big boost on September 29 when Congress veteran and former Goa CM Luizinho Faleiro joined the party. He has represented the Navelim constituency 7 times from 1980 besides serving as the Chief Minister for two terms. On the other hand, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal promised 300 units of free electricity per month, waiver of old bills, 24/7 power supply and free electricity to farmers if AAP forms a government in the state. He also vowed to provide a job to one unemployed youth in each family, monthly unemployment allowance and 80% reservation in the private sector for locals. 

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