Goa outfit MGP, Trinamool Congress seal pre-poll pact ahead of Mamata visit

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

Panaji: The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Monday announced it would contest the forthcoming Goa Assembly elections in an alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) as the combine pitched for good governance as its main poll plank to take on the ruling BJP.

The alliance between Goa's oldest regional party and the new entrant in state politics comes ahead of TMC chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to the coastal state on December 13.

MGP President Deepak Dhavalikar told reporters the details of the alliance would be announced at a later stage and added the two parties will be sharing seats for polls to the 40-member Assembly.

He claimed there was a "wave" against the BJP in Goa and the two parties would seek to capitalize on it in the polls likely in early 2022.

TMC Member of Parliament and Goa desk in-charge Mahua Moitra said the details of the alliance would be made public before Banerjee's scheduled visit.

Earlier in the day, Dhavalikar said the MGP's central committee, a key decision-making body of the party, resolved to have an alliance with the TMC, a new player in Goa politics.

He said the combine's chief ministerial face would be declared later.

Dhavalikar said both the parties have joined hands to provide good governance to the people.

There is a wave against the BJP. People want a change and we will be able to form the government in the state, he said.

Dhavalikar said an impression was being created that the MGP did not have any option but to join hands with its former ally the BJP. We have been always criticizing the BJP. Except for the BJP, we were in talks with other parties like the AAP, the Congress and the TMC (for an alliance), he said.

The MGP chief said "60 per cent" of the people in Goa are yet to decide whom to vote and hence an option has been provided to them in form of an alliance with the Kolkata-headquartered party.

Dhavalikar said the MGP was capable of contesting the elections on its own, but considering the current political scenario in Goa, it decided to go for a pre-poll alliance.

TMC Vice President Luizinho Faleiro expressed happiness over the alliance.

I am happy that the Goans have decided to have a credible change. I am happy and proud that the MGP, which is one of the oldest parties, has formed an alliance with TMC, the former CM said.

The MGP, which has worked with the BJP in the past, has realised that joining hands with the TMC was the best thing for Goa and its people, he added.

After the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP, despite winning only 13 seats in the 40-member House compared to 17 bagged by the Congress, quickly stitched an alliance with the MGP and another regional outfit, Goa Forward Party (GFP), to form its government.

The MGP, which had won three seats in the 2017 polls, is currently left with only one MLA after two of its legislators joined the ruling BJP.

The MGP and the GFP later split with the saffron outfit. Recently, the GFP, led by Vijai Sardesai, allied with Congress to contest the Assembly polls.

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