Goa pols: After exiting govt, MGP seals pre-poll deal with RSS rebel

MGP and GSM have held a series of meetings to formalise allocation of seats for the February 4 polls.

Panaji: A day after it withdrew support to the BJP-led Goa Government, Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Friday decided to forge a pre-poll alliance with Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) floated by RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar for next month's Assembly elections.

"Technically, we have decided to have a pre-poll tie-up with GSM. But the formal alliance with a seat-sharing formula would be announced on coming Sunday," MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar said.

MGP and GSM have held a series of meetings to formalise allocation of seats for the February 4 polls.

Goa has total 40 seats spread across South Goa and North Goa districts.

"MGP, which is oldest regional party in state, will also be heading the alliance. We will fight on 22 seats while GSM on eight and SS (Shiv Sena) on five, making our presence in 35 constituencies," a senior MGP functionary said on condition of anonymity.

MGP was Goa's first ruling party after the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1961. It had contested 2012 polls in alliance with the BJP.

Of late, chasm between MGP and BJP grew as the former was unhappy with the leadership of incumbent chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar and had openly criticised him.

The simmering differences culminated into Parsekar sacking MGP stalwarts Dipak Dhavlikar and Sudin Dhavlikar from his cabinet last month.

MGP formally withdrew its support to the Parsekar government yesterday, recalling all its three MLAs. As a result, the number of MLAs supporting the BJP-led dispensation has come down to 23 which comprises 21 legislators from BJP and two independents.

Velingkar had floated Goa Suraksha Manch after he was removed from the post of Goa RSS chief last year, following his public criticism of the BJP's policies like Medium of Instruction (MoI) and continuation of grants to English medium

schools. He had announced to contest against BJP, earning him the sack from RSS.

GSM has already announced its alliance with Shiv Sena, the alliance partner of the BJP in Maharashtra and central governments.

Meanwhile, sources said the MGP-GSM-SS alliance will project Sudin Dhavalikar as their chief ministerial face in the elections, which have become multi-pronged with the entry of Aam Aadmi Party besides traditional players BJP and Congress.

( Source : PTI )
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