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Battle for Shiroda: Will allies stay away for BJP?

Vijai and Sudin non-committal on plans to contest

Story: The | Goan | 20th October 2018, 03:03 Hrs

UNDECIDED PARTNERS   
GOA FORWARD
>> Party chief Vijai Sardesai says the party will take a call once the Election Commission notifies the by-election
MGP
>> Sudin Dhavlikar has said the party committee headed by president Deepak Dhavlikar will take a final decision
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
>> VIJAI SARDESAI: People gave mandate to GF panel at Borim village panchayat election. This shows that the party too has a base in the constituency
>> SUDIN DHAVALIKAR: Though the Congress won the Shiroda seat in 2017 Assembly elections, the MGP had put up a good show
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MARGAO: Even as the Congress is putting its act together ahead of the by-election to Shiroda Assembly constituency following the resignation of ex-MLA Subhash Shirodkar, all eyes are on the key alliance partners -- the Goa Forward party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party -- with questions being raised in political circles whether the regional parties would throw its hat in the electoral ring.
Both, Goa Forward Supremo Vijai Sardesai and MGP leader and PWD Minister Sudin Dhavlikar, have been non-committal vis-à-vis the by-poll. While the Goa Forward party chief said the party will take a call once the Election Commission notifies the by-election, Sudin Dhavlikar said the Party Committee headed by President Deepak Dhavlikar will take a final decision.
Incidentally, the Goa Forward chief had always taken pride in saying that the Borim Panchayat is being ruled by the regional party. In fact, despite resentment by the local BJP leaders, the Goa Forward party had in the past set its eyes on Shiroda constituency considering the fact that the constituency is represented by the Congress and the alliance cannot stop the regional party from making its entry into the constituency.
As the Goa Forward Chief is scheduled to descend on Borim village, a part of Shiroda constituency on Sunday in connection with a sporting event, one question that has come to the fore is whether the Goa Forward Party would contest from Shiroda constituency or would leave the seat for the major alliance Partner, the BJP, which had twice won the seat before Subhash Shirodkar cut short BJP’s Mahadev Naik’s innings.
“The Goa Forward party has not decided anything on contesting the Shiroda by-poll. Yes, it is a fact that the regional party had set its eyes on Shiroda as part of its expansion plans across the state. But, right now, we are in alliance with the BJP. Let us see. We will cross the bridge as and when the Election Commission notifies by-election for the Shiroda seat," asserted Goa Forward Chief and TCP Minister, Vijai Sardesai.
He, however, takes pride in the fact that the Goa Forward is ruling the Borim Panchayat body over the last one year and half. “Our workers had fielded a panel to fight elections for the Borim village Panchayat and people had given the panel the mandate. This shows that the party too has a base in the constituency’, he said, reminding that the Goa Forward party vice-president Akbar Mulla also hails from Shiroda constituency.
PWD Minister, Sudin Dhavlikar, on the other hand, said that the Party president Deepak Dhavlikar is presently out of station and all issues including the decision whether to contest the by-polls in Shirodkar will be taken by the Party committee headed by Deepak.
He, however, dropped enough hints that the MGP had put up a good show in Shiroda in the 2017 Assembly election, though the seat had gone to the Congress and the BJP could not retain the seat.