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Goa minister predicts early polls, says running coalition govt

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Senior BJP leader and state Urban Development Minister Francis DSouza today predicted the possibility of early assembly elections in Goa.

Speaking to reporters, DSouza said, "There could be a possibility of early assembly election and such a situation cannot be ruled out in Goa. Even Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had told us that Goa should go for polls in 2019 along with Lok Sabha. This itself is a hint," he said.

He said that running a coalition government was difficult as there were "too many pulls and pressures."

"It is difficult for a coalition government to last long. An alliance always comes with adjustments and compromises. So its better to end and have our own government," he commented.

DSouzas statement comes hours after Goa Forward Party (GFP) leaders Vijai Sardesai and Jayesh Salgaoncar during a rally held to commemorate Opinion Poll Day in Margao yesterday criticized the BJP for ignoring such an important day in the past.

The two leaders had said that they would not mind pulling out of the current government if it (government) compromised on the issue of "Goenkarponn" (Goanness).

When contacted today, Sardesai said that his statements during the Opinion Poll Day should not be "politically misinterpreted".

"I am not to be blamed if my statement was politically misinterpreted. I was clear in my views. I had said Goanness which is our unique identity should be protected, he stated.

He added that the GFP was demanding that a statue of Dr Jack Sequeira to be installed at Assembly Complex.

"There is a strong demand to install his statue in the Assembly complex and I am pressing for it. It is part of Goenkarponn. If it is not met I am ready to come out of the government and be just as MLA or not even an MLA," he said.

Sardesai added that it did not mean he was asking for early polls.

Another coalition partner, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has opposed the statue demand.

"It is not just Sequeira, but several other leaders had fought to keep Goa as a separate entity. There is no need for the statue," MGP leader and Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar told reporters today.

The Manohar Parrikar-led government was formed in March last year after the GFP, MGP and three Independents lent support to the BJP.

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

First Published: Wed, January 17 2018. 22:10 IST