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Will never align with GFP in Goa:Cong on Sanjay Raut's remarks

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

The Congress will never align with the Goa Forward Party (GFP), a senior leader said on Monday, days after Shiv Sena leader from Maharashtra Sanjay Raut spoke about a prospective anti-BJP front and predicted a "political earthquake" in the coastal state.

Hitting back, GFP president and former deputy chief minister Vijai Saredsai said the lines demarcating the ruling camp and the opposition are getting "blurred" in Goa.

Sardesai's party is a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the coastal state.

The GFP had had extended support to the Pramod Sawant-led government with all the three MLAs. The party formally withdrew its support to the BJP-led government in July this year, after its MLAs were sacked.

However, the opposition Congress is bitter about Sardesai.

"Sardesai has been sticking to the NDA despite he and two of his MLAs were dropped from the Cabinet in July this year by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. If Sardesai walks out of the NDA, he would be made another Chidambaram by the BJP," Congress spokesperson Trajano D'Mello told reporters.

A day after the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government took over in Maharashtra on November 28, Raut had said an anti-BJP coalition would be formed in Goa.

Raut also spoke to leaders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and GFP, both of which are, like the Sena, former BJP allies.

While Sardesai met Raut in Mumbai and supported the Sena's proposal, MGP's Sudin Dhavalikar also said that such a coalition was possible.

"Sardesai has been speaking against CM Sawant but not against the BJP. He claims himself to be like-minded with the Congress, but at the same time, he continues with the NDA. Sardesai knows that he would be made another P Chidambaram (former Union minister currently in jail) if he dumps the NDA. There are files against him piled up with the BJP," D'Mello said.

When his comment were sought on Raut's statement, D'Mello said the Congress will never align with the GFP "which ditched the Congress after the 2017 Assembly polls and joined the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government.

He said the Congress began discussions with the Sena in Maharashtra only after the latter withdrew from the NDA.

The Congress is a ruling constituent of the Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the neighbouring state.

Meanwhile, Sardesai hinted at a "match-fixing" between the Congress and the BJP.

He also said he had never approached the Congress in Goa, as it didn't "represent" the Opposition.

"D'Mello's statements show that the lines between the Opposition and ruling camp are blurred. Now, the Congress is defending the chief minister more vehemently than the BJP, which clearly indicates that match fixing has reached the conclusive stage where the spokesman for the CM happens to be the spokesman from the opposition.

"We have a situation where both the ruling and the opposition have got irreparably fixed," he said.

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

First Published: Mon, December 02 2019. 20:30 IST