Regional forces join hands in Goa ahead of Assembly polls

Three Independent legislators – Vijai Sardessai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal – have already vowed support for the party.

Panaji: Keeping an eye on the State Assembly elections scheduled next year, independent regional forces in Goa have decided to come together and announce the formation of a new political outfit on January 26.

Three Independent legislators – Vijai Sardessai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal – have already vowed support for the party, which is likely to be named as 'Goa Forward'.

"We are looking to take Goa forward. So the name of the party will also be on the similar lines. For last eight months, meetings are being held with like minded people cutting across all the communities to put together this political outfit," said Prabhakar Timblo, former State Election Commissioner, who is one of the faces of the party.

Timblo said Goa is developing but people in the state are not happy as national parties ruling the coastal state have failed to fulfil the "regional interests".

The forces working on the formation of this party are buoyed with the outcome of Bihar elections, which they say, was completely inclined towards regional players.

"If you look at Bihar elections results, they were completely towards regional parties. In Delhi too AAP won, it was a regional party. AAP calls itself to be national party but it is in fact a regional party," Timblo said.

He said that the Congress which was supposed to be principle opposition party has gone into "sleep mode".

Meanwhile, the three independent legislators who have given their moral support to the party have clarified that they will not join the outfit as they are not allowed to so under Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution.

"We are not joining the party but we are supporting it whole heartedly. If you look at BJP they are on the verge of making Goa lose its identity," said Rohan Khaunte, the legislator representing Porvorim constituency.

Khaunte had declared his support to BJP led government post 2012 assembly polls but had later withdrew it.

"Regional party is the only option where there will be no high command," he said.

The recent decision of the state government to declassify coconut tree as a tree and instead categorise it as a 'palm' is one of the issues that the regional outfit has clearly mentioned it would go ahead with.