Goa: Regional parties may spoil Cong, BJP’s game

A bunch of regional parties in Goa are likely to spoil the party for the national players, including ruling Congress and opposition BJP.

Panaji: A bunch of regional parties in Goa are likely to spoil the party for the national players, including ruling Congress and opposition BJP, as the turncoat leaders are returning to their folds even as hectic parleys are underway to seal the alliances ahead of the March 3 Assembly polls, political observers have said.

The regional parties in Goa are aiming to form a formidable opposition in the state for the elections even as national parties are busy working out their pre-poll tie-ups, they said.

The parties like the United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP), Save Goa Front (SGF) and Goa Vikas Party (GVP) are warming up to each other for forging an alliance that might dent prospects of the Congress-NCP alliance.

"All regional parties will eat into Congress`s vote bank, but if BJP and MGP come together minorities will rally behind Congress making regional players almost defunct," Raju Nayak editor of Marathi daily Lokmat said.

The principal opposition party is finalising its alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).

The regional political parties are consolidating their
position in the aftermath of several of their patrons having
crossed over to join the national parties to secure power pie
for themselves.

Latest case in point is that of former tourism
minister Miccky Pacheko, who resigned from NCP to join Goa
Vikas Party (GVP), a small-time political outfit which came
into existence one-and-a-half-decade back and never tasted
success at the hustings.

Pacheco, who wields significant influence in Salcette
taluka, is likely to cause headache for the Congress-NCP in
this belt which has a sizable Catholic population.

Pacheco`s close aide and party vice president Lyndon
Monteiro told PTI that the GVP would be fielding candidates on
all 40 seats, of which they have already shortlisted 33.

GVP has already initiated talks with UGDP and SGF,
which are in the final stages.

Similarly, UGDP is a force to reckon with as far as
election in Goa are concerned where even a couple of
legislators can tilt the power frame in a scenario where
political parties have to walk on egg shells to keep their
flock together. UGDP in 2007 polls had won one seat.

UGDP legislator Atanasio Monserratte had won from Taleigao constituency but later joined Congress to earn a ministerial berth.

The party which has a strong base in South Goa has
been facing defections since last one decade. The party
secretary general Anacleto Viegas told reporters this week
that the UGDP is now looking to revive and fight with a fresh

Any dispensation of the regional parties might queer
the pitch for ruling Congress-NCP alliance in the state, the
political pundits feel.

The alliance, gearing up to contest on all the 40 seats, has an edge over its rival BJP-MGP though it has to
rein in the smaller parties.
Though Congress is still working out over a feasible
seat-sharing formula with NCP, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee
(GPCC) president Subhash Shirodkar has asserted that the
alliance will materialise.

In the House of 40, now truncated to 37 following
resignations of three MLAs--two of BJP and one of NCP--the
Congress has 20 seats and BJP holds sway over 12 seats,
followed by NCP and MGP which holds 2 seats each and one is
Independent member.

With several issues like illegal mining, Regional
Plan, medium of instruction, corruption etc at the forefront,
the ensuing state legislative assembly elections would not be
a cakewalk for any national party.


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