Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said cultures of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Trinamool Congress, which have forged a pre-poll alliance, do not match.
The MGP, Goa's oldest regional party, on Monday announced it would contest the forthcoming state Assembly elections in an alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) as the combine pitched for good governance as its main poll plank to take on the ruling BJP.
Reacting to the political development, Chief Minister Sawant said the two parties have no match when it comes to their cultural identities.
"Where is the MGP's culture and where is the TMC's West Bengal culture? We wonder how do they match," he told reporters on Monday evening after attending a meeting of the BJP's election management committee chaired by former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadanavis.
Referring to Goa's first CM Dayanand Bandodkar, who had founded the MGP, Sawant said, “Late Bhausaheb (Dayanand) Bandodkar will not have peace wherever he is."
State BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said “I have seen cartoons on various WhatsApp groups. It is shown there that when a lion does not get anything to eat, it eats grass.”
Notably, lion is the MGP's election symbol.
After the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP, despite winning only 13 seats in the 40-member House compared to 17 bagged by the Congress, quickly stitched an alliance with the MGP and another regional outfit, Goa Forward Party (GFP), to form its government.
The MGP and the GFP later split with the BJP.
The MGP, which had won three seats in the 2017 polls, is currently left with only one MLA after two of its legislators joined the ruling BJP.
Tanavade said when the MGP aligned with the BJP for the first time in 1994, it was a different party altogether.
“If it is the same party, it would not have tied-up with a political outfit like the TMC,” he said.
“Now, the MGP has been turned into a private limited company of Dhavalikar brothers,” Tanavade claimed.
The MGP is headed by Deepak Dhavalikar and his brother Sudin Dhavalikar represents the party in the state Assembly.
Deepak Dhavalikar on Monday said details of the MGP's alliance with the TMC would be announced at a later stage and added the two parties will be sharing seats for polls to the 40-member Assembly.
He claimed there was a "wave" against the BJP in Goa and the two parties would seek to capitalise on it in the polls, likely in early 2022.
TMC Member of Parliament and Goa desk in-charge Mahua Moitra had said the details of the alliance would be made public before Mamata Banerjee's scheduled visit to the coastal state on December 13.