Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

MGP may contest LS polls, keeps coalition on the edge

Decision expected at panel meet later this month

11th February 2019, 02:05 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), a partner in the ruling BJP-led coalition in the State, is mulling contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and is expected to formally decide on the issue at its ‘Central Committee’ meeting slated to be held later this month.   

MGP sources said the party is seriously contemplating entering the fray in the by-elections to Mandrem and Shiroda assembly seats as well as the Lok Sabha elections which in all probability are now expected to be held simultaneously.   

When contacted, MGP president Deepak Dhavlikar declined to comment definitely on whether the party will contest the Lok Sabha elections.   

“These political issues will be discussed and decided by the party’s central committee,” Dhavlikar told The Goan.   

Dhavlikar also said there was no meeting or any discussion, even on phone, with the BJP’s national president Amit Shah, who was in Goa and addressed party workers on Saturday.   

Dhavlikar, meanwhile, has already made public his intention of contesting the Shiroda bye-poll and has also begun moving around in the constituency to drum up support.   

The MGP central committee has also endorsed Dhavlikar’s move join the fray if and when the Shiroda by-poll is held.   

The development however has evoked angry reaction from the MGP’s coalition partner Goa Forward Party whose president and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai has warned the government will collapse if Dhavlikar goes ahead with this plan. He has also advocated the intervention of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to dissuade a conflict among coalition partners in the by-election field.   

Sardesai has also gone public with his claim that he has worked out his own ‘Plan B’ to ensure stability of the government should the MGP play foul and go ahead with contesting the polls violating coalition decorum.   

Sources said, the MGP is wary of Sardesai’s moves and is suspecting that he is wooing two of its MLAs - Tourism Minister Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar and GSIDC chairman, Dipak Pauskar - both known to have cordial relations with the TCP Minister.   

 Parrikar and the 

leadership of the BJP, which is the principal partner in the ruling coalition with 14 legislators meanwhile, has kept its distance from the ongoing war-of-words between its allies.   

Shah also made no attempts to meet either of the allies and supporting Independents during his Saturday’s visit to Goa although the purpose of his visit was specifically connected to preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.