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BJP ally MGP to support Congress in Lok Sabha polls in Goa

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa, has decided to support the opposition in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The MGP, Goa's oldest regional party, accused the BJP of "backstabbing" it.

The MGP Central Committee, a key decision-making body of the regional outfit, met Thursday and resolved to work for candidates in both the Lok Sabha seats - Girish Chodankar (North Goa) and (South Goa).

The BJP has fielded its sitting MPs - Shripad Naik in North and Narendra Sawaikar in South - where voting will take place in a single phase on April 23.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, MGP working said the decision to support the was taken after consulting MLA Sudin Dhavalikar and party workers.

"There is a growing anger among MGP workers after the BJP backstabbed us. The BJP is not to be trusted anymore. Lok Sabha elections are the best opportunity to teach a lesson to the BJP," Sawant said.

The MGP, with its three MLAs, had supported the BJP to form a coalition government post-2017 assembly elections after the Amit Shah-led party failed to get a majority in the 40- member House.

The Forward Party (GFP) and three independent MLAs also supported the BJP-led coalition government.

However, last month, two MGP MLAs - and - split from the party, formed a separate group and merged its legislative wing with the BJP.

This was followed by dropping MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar, who was then Deputy Chief Minister, from the state cabinet.

Both Pawaskar and Azgonkar were subsequently inducted into the cabinet with the latter getting the post of Deputy

Besides the Lok Sabha polls, by-elections to three assembly seats in Goa - Shiroda, Mapusa and Mandrem - are also being held on April 23.

MGP is in the fray in Shiroda, where the BJP has fielded In Mapusa, the MGP has extended support to Congress candidate Sudhir Kandolkar, while the BJP has given ticket to Joshua D'Souza.

"We are yet to take a decision on the Mandrem assembly seat," said.

The MGP has not yet formally pulled out of the BJP-led coalition.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 20:00 IST