In what is being seen as a setback to the BJP, RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar on Tuesday announced the formation of a new three-party political alliance between the MGP, Shiv Sena and Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM). Former PWD minister and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Sudin Dhavalikar would be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the coalition front.
Velingkar, who was appointed convenor of the alliance, also said that they for now had decided to contest 37 out of the 40 legislative assembly seats in Goa.
MGP, being the senior alliance partner would contest in 26 seats, GSM in six and the Shiv Sena in five assembly seats.
“We will work out a common minimum programme to ensure smooth functioning of the alliance,” Velingkar told a press conference in Panaji. “Our agenda is to protect Goa’s languages and culture...
Once we come to power government grants to English medium schools will be withdrawn,” he said.
The former RSS leader was sacked as sanghachalak for Goa region, for his consistent criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over its alleged anti-regional language policies, especially promotion of English language as the medium of instruction in government-aided primary schools.
The MGP entered the alliance, which was first floated by Velingkar, less than a month after two of its cabinet ministers were sacked from the BJP-led coalition cabinet after their criticism of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s leadership. The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, was already committed to a grand anti-BJP alliance. The alliance was represented on Tuesday by leaders of the three parties namely Anand Shirodkar, Sudin Dhavalikar and member of parliament Sanjay Raut of the GSM, MGP and the Shiv Sena, respectively. While Velingkar said, that the Manch would not enter into any alignment with the BJP after the results were declared, the MGP leader expressed his party’s commitment to taking on the BJP in all the 37 constituencies, but preferred to keep his options open in the post-poll scenario.
“I cannot tell you that now... Sometimes in politics you have to adopt Chanakyaniti,” Dhavalikar said. The MGP leader also had words of praise for Union minister Manohar Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari, while he blamed Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for sacking them from the alliance government in Goa, of which they were cabinet ministers from 2012-2016.
The MGP has also been in alliance with the Congress in Goa from 2007-2012.