Goa polls: Congress leaders meet Rahul Gandhi; MGP says it will not support Pramod Sawant as CM

The Grand Old Party is wary of a repeat of the 2017 situation when it emerged as the single largest party but was trumped by the BJP which cobbled together a coalition quicker.

Published: 05th March 2022 09:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2022 09:33 PM   |  A+A-

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi (Photo| Twitter)


PANAJI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met party leaders from Goa ahead of counting of votes for the Assembly elections on March 10 and reviewed the political situation in the coastal state.

Congress' Goa desk in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao, state unit chief Girish Chodankar and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Digambar Kamat met Gandhi in Delhi.

Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal and the party's Goa election in-charge P Chidambaram were also present for the meeting.

After the meeting, Rao tweeted "Sri @RahulGandhi reviewed the political situation in Goa and discussed strategies for post election scenario with us." Congress contested the recently-held Goa Assembly election in alliance with the Goa Forward Party.

The Grand Old Party is wary of a repeat of the 2017 situation when it emerged as the single largest party but was trumped by the BJP which cobbled together a coalition quicker.

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Saturday said it will decide its stand after the Goa election results by taking the ally Trinamool Congress in confidence, but will "never support" Pramod Sawant as chief minister.

Sawant, chief minister of the outgoing BJP government, had sacked MGP ministers from his cabinet, said MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar, but did not categorically rule out supporting the BJP again.

Results of the Assembly elections in Goa would be declared on March 10.

Dhavalikar told PTI that in case of a fractured mandate, his party and the TMC will decide whether to support any party or coalition only after taking each other into confidence.

Asked if the TMC-MGP alliance is ruling out supporting the incumbent BJP, Dhavalikar said, "The issue is not about BJP. Politics in Goa is different from that in the rest of the country. We have witnessed 16 chief ministers in 16 years. The politics here is different from that in Haryana and Delhi."

The stand of the Goa unit of the TMC can be different from that of "national TMC" as its leaders here are Goans and not from West Bengal, the bastion of the Mamata Banerjee-led party, Dhavalikar said.

But the MGP will not support any government led by Pramod Sawant, he categorically said.

"Sawant (as chief minister) threw the MGP out from the state cabinet in 2019 without any valid reason. We are still hurt over it and we will never support a government which has Sawant as chief minister," he said.

Dhavalikar in the past had said he preferred BJP leaders Vishwajit Rane or Nilesh Cabral as the next chief minister.

When asked about this statement, he said it should not be taken out of context.

"I had said that Congress and BJP should come together and keep those facing charges of corruption and serious criminal cases at bay. They should not been given the CM post or ministerial post," he said, adding that Rane or Cabral could be a good choice.

People were seeking a change in 2022 so the MGP formed alliance with TMC to provide a good alternative, Dhavalikar said.

People have rejected party-hoppers and corrupt and criminal politicians this time, he claimed.

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