No Tie-Up With Goa Forward Party: Congress On Sanjay Raut's Strategy

Goa Forward Party (GFP) president and former deputy chief minister Vijai Saredsai said the lines demarcating the ruling camp and the opposition are getting "blurred" in Goa

No Tie-Up With Goa Forward Party: Congress On Sanjay Raut's Strategy

Sanjay Raut spoke about a prospective anti-BJP front and predicted a "political earthquake" in Goa

Panaji:

The Congress will never align with the Goa Forward Party (GFP), a senior leader said on Monday, days after Shiv Sena leader from Maharashtra Sanjay Raut spoke about a prospective anti-BJP front and predicted a "political earthquake" in the coastal state.

Hitting back, GFP president and former deputy chief minister Vijai Saredsai said the lines demarcating the ruling camp and the opposition are getting "blurred" in Goa.

Mr Sardesai's party is a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the coastal state. The GFP had had supported the Pramod Sawant-led government with all the three MLAs. The party formally withdrew its support to the BJP-led government in July this year, after its MLAs were sacked.

However, the opposition Congress is bitter about Mr Sardesai. "Sardesai has been sticking to the NDA despite he and two of his MLAs being dropped from the cabinet in July this year by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. If Sardesai walks out of the NDA, he would be made another Chidambaram by the BJP," Congress spokesperson Trajano D'Mello told reporters.

A day after the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government took over in Maharashtra on November 28, Mr Raut had said an anti-BJP coalition would be formed in Goa.

Mr Raut also spoke to leaders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and GFP, both of which are, like the Sena, former BJP allies. While Mr Sardesai met Mr Raut in Mumbai and supported the Sena's proposal, MGP's Sudin Dhavalikar said such a coalition was possible.

"Sardesai has been speaking against CM Sawant but not against the BJP. He claims himself to be like-minded with the Congress, but at the same time, he continues with the NDA. Sardesai knows that he would be made another P Chidambaram (former union minister currently in jail) if he dumps the NDA. There are files against him piled up with the BJP," D'Mello said.

On Mr Raut's statement, D'Mello said the Congress will never align with the GFP "which ditched the Congress" after the 2017 assembly polls and joined the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government.

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