Goa Assembly Exit Polls: Will seek MGP's support if needed, says Chief Minister Pramod Sawant
MGP legislator Sudin Dhavalikar had earlier said that his party will decide its stand after the Goa election results by taking the Trinamool Congress into confidence, but will 'never support' Pramod Sawant as chief minister
Panaji: With just two days to go for the Goa Assembly polls counting, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said the central BJP leadership is already in talks with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) to seek its support, if the saffron outfit falls short of a few numbers to form government.
Elections to the 40-member Goa Assembly were held on February 14 and the results will be declared on March 10.
Talking to PTI, Sawant said the BJP is optimistic that it will get more than 22 seats (as against the majority mark of 21), but if it falls short of the numbers, "the party has also kept open the option of seeking the support of independents and the MGP".
The central BJP leadership is in talks with the MGP for a post-poll alliance, the CM said.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats.
But, the BJP, which had bagged 13 seats, quickly tied-up with the Deepak Dhavalikar-led MGP (Goa's oldest regional outfit), the Goa Forward Party and independents to form government headed by Manohar Parrikar.
In 2019, when Sawant became the CM after Parrikar's demise, two MGP ministers were dropped from the state cabinet.
This time, the MGP contested the state Assembly elections in alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).
MGP legislator Sudin Dhavalikar had on Saturday said his party will decide its stand after the Goa election results by taking the TMC into confidence, but will "never support" Pramod Sawant as chief minister.
Sawant had sacked MGP ministers from his cabinet, he said, but did not categorically rule out supporting the BJP again.
Responding to Sudin Dhavalikar's statement, Sawant said, Even if any party supports us, it cannot take a decision on our leadership.
Sawant claimed it was the MGP which kept a distance from the BJP in the 2017 Goa polls and also in the elections this year.
The MGP was dropped from the government because it contested against our official candidate in a by-election in 2019, the CM said.
Sawant also said he has no personal differences with Dhavalikar brothers. The differences were political, he added.
Asked whether he would be the next CM if the BJP retains power in the coastal state, Sawant said, The election was fought under my leadership. Right from our (BJP's) national president to state president, everyone has said and it has been often repeated that we will form the government under my leadership.
I am fully confident that the central party leadership will once again have faith in me to head the next government, he said.
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