A key ally of the BJP-led coalition government in Goa announced on Thursday that it will contest the coastal state's yet to be scheduled by-polls "on its own".
The decision was taken at the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's (MGP) central committee meeting held earlier in the day, party president Deepak Dhavalikar told the media.
"We are not betraying anyone. We are fighting against defections and defectors. Against those people who quit parties after one or two years," Mr Dhavalikar said.
Bypolls to the two Assembly constituencies have been necessitated after two Congress MLAs resigned to join the Bharatiya Janata Party last October.
With three MLAs, two of who are ministers in Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's cabinet, the MGP shares the Hindu conservative vote base with the BJP.
When asked if the MGP's decision would have an impact on the state government, Mr Dhavalikar said that the move does not mean the party wants to destabilise the current ruling dispensation.
"We are not threatening the government, or BJP or Congress. Our issue is clear. Goa is a small state and there should not be continuous defection. It has to stop," he said.
Mr Dhavalikar also said that his party had already endorsed his candidature for the Shiroda Assembly constituency at Thursday's meeting.
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