Panaji: The NCP is attempting to make a comeback in Goa politics through the upcoming Assembly polls, after not having a good run in the last state elections.
The Sharad Pawar-led party has fielded 16 candidates after its attempt for pre-poll ties was rejected by Congress. The NCP Goa unit president and former state revenue minister Jose Philip D'Souza is among the candidates, who are in the fray for the 4 February Assembly polls.
"We expected to contest this election by forming alliance of like-minded parties. We had even submitted the proposal to Congress for that. But Congress was not in a mood to join forces with us," said D'Souza, who is contesting from Vasco constituency.
Former Congress minister Churchill Alemao, who was defeated in the 2012 polls, is contesting on NCP ticket from Benaulim constituency.
D'Souza claimed that Congress' refusal to align with them has got NCP the voters' sympathy which will help them to win on at least five seats.
"People say that Congress has back-stabbed NCP. They have seen the progress the state has made under our rule and wanted Congress, NCP to combine forces," he said.
The Congress-NCP alliance had ruled the coastal state in 2007-2012 when D'Souza was the revenue minister. But, the party faired badly in 2012 Goa polls during which it could not win even on a single seat.
NCP had alliance with Congress during 2012 polls and had contested on seven seats. Later, some leaders deserted the party in last five years.
Senior state NCP leaders Nilkant Halarnkar and Trajano D'Mello recently joined the Congress. Halarnkar is now contesting from Thivim constituency on Congress ticket.
D'Souza said the NCP and Congress together along with like-minded parties like Goa Forward would have been able to form government by defeating BJP, if there was a tie-up, but now fears that in the present situation, there will be division of votes.
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2017 15:15 PM