After Maharashtra, a miracle will be seen in BJP-ruled Goa, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut declared on Friday, a day after his party chief Uddhav Thackeray became Chief Minister of a coalition government with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. The Sena leader was speaking about a new political front in the seaside state that has seen a long spell of political turbulence since elections delivered a hung verdict in 2017.
Former Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party is in touch with the Shiv Sena, Mr Raut said. "A new political front is taking shape in Goa, just like it happened in Maharashtra. Jaldi hi Goa mein bhi aapko ek chamatkar dikhai dega (Soon you will witness a miracle in Goa)," Sanjay Raut said.
"It will happen across the country. After Maharashtra it is Goa, then we will go to other states. We want to make a non-BJP political front in this country," the Shiv Sena leader crowed.
Vijai Sardesai confirmed that he had met Sanjay Raut. "Governments don't change after an announcement. It happens suddenly. What happened in Maharashtra, should be done in Goa too. The opposition should come together. We met Sanjay Raut. 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' which has been formed, should extend to Goa too."
The Goa Forward Party helped the BJP form government even though the Congress emerged as the largest party in the last assembly election. The Congress had won 17 seats in 2017, but was outwitted by the BJP (13), which moved in swiftly to win over allies.
After the death of popular Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in March, the BJP faced turbulence with allies stepping up their demands.
Vijai Sardesai was made Deputy Chief Minister in the Pramod Sawant government, but was removed in July along with the other Goa Forward Party ministers after 10 Congress MLAs moved to the BJP. The Congress defectors won cabinet posts in return.
The BJP currently has 27 members in the 40-member assembly and is unlikely to be hit by any alliance between the Goa Forward Party and the Shiv Sena.
In last month's Maharashtra election, the BJP emerged as the largest party and had a majority with ally Shiv Sena. But the Sena refused to play second fiddle and, after several rounds of talks, formed an unthinkable alliance with ideological rivals NCP and Congress.
The BJP's Devendra Fadnavis last Saturday took oath in a highly controversial, surprise event. He stepped down on Tuesday after the Supreme Court ordered him to take a floor test.
Mr Raut, reacting to questions about a court summons to Mr Fadnavis allegedly for concealing two criminal cases in his election affidavit, quipped: "I don't know. We are busy with Goa politics now. Maharashtra politics is over."