Local Goa News

Thursday, November 24, 2016

BJP wants alliance on own terms, MGP has other ideas

Bicholim, Dabolim remain non-negotiable for both; BJP looks at MGP as junior partner not same level ally; MGP wants alliance but not total subversion

PANJIM: The biggest hurdle in the purportedly completely finalised alliance of the BJP and MGP is not only the seat factor but the attitude factor. The BJP, at this stage is not treating MGP as an ally they need but as a junior partner they are ready to help, equating this with the relationship BJP shares with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar.

But unlike in Bihar, the MGP isn’t ready to play second fiddle, in spirit go it alone if not offered “satisfactory” terms. As one decision making MGP leader said (original words in Konkani) “We want alliance, not subversion”.
In terms of seats the MGP will settle for nothing less than 10 but will start negotiating with nothing less than 12, though officially they have asked for 14 seats. The BJP will concede the A+ MGP seats of Ponda, Marcaim, Priol and Quepem with a rider that there is pressure from BJP’s Ponda unit not to give the seat to sitting MGP MLA. Lavoo Mamledar and is likely to add St Cruz to it. However, in both Velim and Benaulim, seats which were offered to MGP in 2012, which the latter did not take, BJP has independent loyalist MLAs Caitu Silva and Benjamin Silva.
In Bicholim, Independent MLA Naresh Sawal has the MGP backing and both the candidate and the party are buying time. Even if MGP is forced to concede the seat to BJP, it will tacitly back Sawal’s independent candidature. The BJP has, meanwhile, zeroed on Rajesh Patnekar who had, just before the 2012 elections gotten into the fold of the Rane’s, so both parties are headed for a direct conflict there.
In Dabolim, Mauvin Godinho has passed the BJP loyalty test, and for this reason alone, his current seat Dabolim will be given to him, irrespective of MGP wanting to field Premanand Nanoskar. MGP has even gone ahead and announced Nanoskar’s candidature.
Speaking to the media, MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar asserted that the claim to the Dabolim seat was non-negotiable. “Our committee has decided to demand 14 seats and Dabolim is one of those seats,” Dhavalikar asserted.
“We are a coalition partner with BJP and during seat-sharing discussions we will place our committee’s demand for 14 seats. It is definite that Premanand Nasnoskar, our candidate who lost the last Assembly election with a narrow margin, will be our candidate from Dabolim constituency,” Dhavalikar added.
MGP Working President Narayan Sawant had recently said, “Till now there

have been no talks of alliance with the BJP. When talks start, we will not compromise on the number of seats and the constituencies which we would like to contest. If required we are ready to go it alone.” Sawant said MGP will demand for the Dabolim and Bicholim seats, amongst others.
Three of the central executive members of the MGP on Tuesday said they would insist on getting the Bicholim seat to accommodate sitting independent MLA Sawal.
Meanwhile, political insiders confirm that when the talks reach the last mile, Sudin Dhavalikar will give in and fall in line, because he has too much to lose if he parts ways with the BJP. Dhavalikar said the question of not aligning with BJP does not arise. He said it is important that MGP and BJP align for the elections so that the development works initiated in Goa reach a logical conclusion.
“We are in alliance. Everybody knows as far as development of Goa is concerned, with BJP’s government being at the Centre, they have given Goa much funds. Being in alliance will be in interest of Goa’s development. People in Goa want development today, of roads, sewerage projects, water projects,” Dhavalikar said.
Ball is in MGP’s court: BJP
BJP State unit president Vinay Tendulkar said some BJP workers from Madkaim, Tivim and Taleigao constituencies have expressed their resentment against MGP. “But whatever differences are there, we will sit across the table and sort them out,” Tendulkar said.
He added, “We have an alliance with MGP and MGP has to decide whether they want to continue. We are clear that BJP doesn’t want to break the alliance.”
What he simply means is this. With the effective head of the party Sudin Dhavalikar wanting to seal and deal at any cost, and with the Center’s power play clearly visible, it is the BJP which has put MGP on notice.

Herald Goa News

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