Goa Forward Party, Former Key BJP Ally, To Join Congress In State Polls

The Goa Forward Party has three MLAs in the 40-member state assembly.

Goa Forward Party, Former Key BJP Ally, To Join Congress In State Polls

Vijay Sardesai, Vinod Palyekar, and Prasad Shashikant Gaonkar met Rahul Gandhi today.


Ahead of the state assembly elections early next year, Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijay Sardesai today met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and pledged to fight with the grand old party against the BJP. The GFP was a crucial ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and was recently being wooed by several players including the Trinamool Congress, which reportedly wanted a merger. 

Mr Sardesai was accompanied by his party colleague Vinod Palyekar, and independent MLA Prasad Shashikant Gaonkar. GFP has three MLAs in the 40-member state assembly.

Mr Gaonkar had supported the BJP during former state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's leadership but withdrew support after Mr Parrikar fell ill. He had also extended support to Trinamool Congress last month. 

In social media posts, Mr Sardesai criticised the BJP government in the state, calling it "utterly corrupt, incompetent and undemocratic." He also called the BJP "communal" and "anti-Goan".

"Met Shri @RahulGandhi along with my colleagues @prasadgaonkr13 and @vinod_palyekar. We agreed to fight resolutely, wholeheartedly and unitedly on behalf of the people of #Goa to end the utterly corrupt, incompetent, and undemocratic reign of @BJP4Goa #ChalYaFuddem!" Mr Sardesai tweeted along with a photo of the leaders with Mr Gandhi.

The GFP had walked out of the NDA in April this year citing "anti-Goan policies" of the BJP-led state government. It had pointed out the state government's alleged failure in handling various issues, such as three linear projects, the Mahadayi river water dispute, and other matters.

Mr Sardesai followed up his tweet with another post on the microblogging site saying he was "proud" to be working on the "second liberation of Goa". This time, he used his own picture with Rahul Gandhi. "Continuance of Goa under @BJP4Goa rule is an impossibility! Met with Shri @RahulGandhi. Proud to be working for the 2nd liberation of #Goa with the great grandson of the person who enabled the 1st! The curse of the communal and anti-Goan @DrPramodPSawant govt will be blown away!" he said. 

The GFP recently saw the shock exit of its working president Kiran Kandolkar, who was second only to party chief Vijai Sardesai. Mr Kandolkar and his wife Kavita Kandolkar joined the Trinamool Congress on November 21.