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Goa polls: Regional parties might play spoilers
A bunch of regional parties in Goa is likely to spoil the party for national players like the Cong and the BJP.
Panaji: A bunch of regional parties in Goa is likely to spoil the party for national players, including ruling Congress and opposition BJP, during the March 3 Assembly polls, even as hectic parleys are underway to seal alliances ahead of elections, say political observers. 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.
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 a Marathi daily said.
The regional political parties, however, have got a shot in the arm with a rise in the number of leaders leaving national parties to join them. 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.
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 elections in Goa are concerned, where even a couple of legislators can tilt the power frame. UGDP secretary general Anacleto Viegas told reporters this week that the party was looking to fight with a "fresh zeal".
Any dispensation of the regional parties might queer the pitch for ruling Congress-NCP alliance in the state, 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.
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 an Independent member.
With several issues, including illegal mining, medium of instruction and corruption, at the forefront, the ensuing state legislative assembly elections would certainly not be a cakewalk for any national party.
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