Congress, BJP dependent on AAP, MGP to win South Goa seat

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Panaji, March 22 (IANS) Both National Parties, BJP and Congress, for whom winning the South Goa seat has become a prestige issue, are dependent on regional party MGP and AAP respectively, to win the election.

Congress and BJP are yet to declare candidates for South Goa seat.

In Goa, it is considered that the South seat is won by the party which gets the support of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) with 6 to 7 per cent vote share in the constituency.

After Liberation of Goa, MGP had ruled the state for 17 years and represented the state Assembly since then. The vote bank of MGP was strong then, but it declined after the entry of national parties.

Speaking to IANS, MGP President Deepak Dhavalikar said that till today, constituencies like Marcaim, Ponda, Shiroda and Sanvordem are their citadel.

“In South Goa, we have around 6 to 7 per cent vote share. With our support to BJP for Lok Sabha, we will win this seat with at least ten thousand margin,” Dhavalikar said.

“It is evident, whichever party took our support for Lok Sabha in South, they have won for sure. We have a strong hold in constituencies like Marcaim, Ponda, Shiroda, Sanvordem. This helps any party that takes our support,” he said.

MGPs Marcaim MLA Sudin Dhavalikar, brother of Deepak, was dropped from Cabinet in the last term (2017-2022) of the BJP government after his two MLAs split from the regional party and joined BJP.

This forced senior politician Sudin Dhavalikar to support Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha election, which helped the party’s candidate Francisco Sardinha win from South Goa with a lead of nine thousand odd votes by defeating BJP’s then sitting Member of Parliament Narendra Sawaikar.

After the results of 2022 Assembly elections, despite BJP having a majority, MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar was accommodated in Pramod Sawant’s Cabinet.

“We are in alliance with BJP, they respect us, we respect them. So far they have not given us any trouble. Secondly, in politics, nothing is permanent,” Dhavalikar said.

In the current situation, AAP has two MLAs in South (Benaulim and Velim constituencies), and has some hold in Christian dominated constituencies in Salcete Taluka.

As AAP has lent its support to INDIA bloc, Congress will get vote share of Arvind Kejriwal’s party to fight against BJP.

AAP state President Adv Amit Palekar said that they have already started work in South Goa and are confident of winning this seat.

“Apart from constituencies of our MLAs, we have presence in Nuvem, Cortalim constituencies, and also in other constituencies. This will definitely help Congress win this seat,” Palekar said.

“We will add 20 per cent more votes in share of Congress. We are winning South Goa for sure,” he said.

Speaking about support of MGP to BJP, Palekar said that people know that this party is considered as a “political pal” of any party which is capable of forming a government.

He added that BJP is frustrated and makes unwanted statements.

The coastal state will go to poll on May 7, in the third phase of Lok Sabha general elections for two seats, North Goa and South Goa.

Goa has a total of 1,173,016 voters, with 57,7958 in North Goa and 59,5058 in South Goa. Among these, there are 56,8501 male voters and 60,4515 female voters.

The state will have a total of 1,725 polling stations, with 863 in North Goa and 862 in South Goa.



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