In Goa, Trinamool Scores Local Ally That Helped BJP Take Charge In 2017

Sudhin Dhavlikar was unceremoniously dropped from the BJP government in Goa in March 2019, shortly after two of his party's MLAs had joined the BJP.

In Goa, Trinamool Scores Local Ally That Helped BJP Take Charge In 2017

Mahua Moitra said the people of Goa who were looking for an alternative to BJP "should look no further".

Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress's search for a local ally in Goa ended on Monday, with a tie-up with the Sudhin Dhavlikar-led Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party that helped the BJP come to power in the state in 2017 despite the Congress emerging as the single largest party. Sudhin Dhavlikar was unceremoniously dropped from the BJP government in Goa in March 2019, shortly after two of his party's MLAs had joined the BJP.

The alliance of the MGP and Trinamool was announced this evening by his brother Deepak Dhavlikar.  Sharing stage with him, Mahua Moitra, who is the Trinamool's Goa in-charge, said: "This alliance is a combination of Trinamool's fighting spirit and MGP's deep rooted history in Goa... we believe that the people of Goa who were looking for an alternative to get rid of the BJP government in the state should look no further".

The Trinamool had also reached out to another former BJP ally and a local party, but that deal did not go through owing to differences on a possible merger.

Sources indicated that this merger was crafted by veteran Goa political leader Luizinho Faleiro, who recently joined the Trinamool Congress and is the party's National Vice-President.

Sources have also told NDTV that the MGP will contest around 9 of Goa's 40 seats. The Trinamool is also planning to reach out to other outfits to include more local faces.

The Goa Forward Party has tied up with the Congress, which has accused the Trinamool of attempting to help the BJP in Goa.

The Trinamool has retaliated with the example of 2017, when the Congress, in spite of winning more seats, allowed the BJP to form the government with the support of the Goa Forward Party and the MGP.

Trinamool chief and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had an explanation of the Congress animosity.

"If the Congress is contesting against me in Bengal, can't I contest in Goa? Why are you contesting against me in every seat in Bengal? If they can contest, I can also contest. I want the BJP to be out. I have seen that they (the Congress) were elected and after that how BJP has formed government in Goa. They were very much elected," Ms Banerjee has said.

The BJP's Goa in-charge Devendra Fadnavis also arrived in the state for a two-day visit to take stock of the ruling party's poll preparations as it faces massive anti-incumbency.

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