In Talks With TMC, Congress For Alliance: Sharad Pawar Amid Goa Polls

Sharad Pawar

Panaji: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that his party is in talks with Trinamool Congress and Congress for alliance amid the Goa Polls. His remark comes after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said the BJP wants to ride on the shoulders of the TMC to come to power in Goa. Shiv Sena is part of Mahrashtra's ruling alliance which also includes NCP and Congress.

"NCP leader Praful Patel, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut are talking with local Congress leaders there," Pawar told reporters in Mumbai. "There is a common thinking that BJP should be defeated there and talks are in progress with like-minded parties," he added.

Earlier TMC had proposed larger alliance of opposition parties, and sated would do whatever possible for BJP not to come in power in Goa. Expressing the Mamata Banerjee-led party's willingness to join hands with the Congress and other Opposition parties to fight the BJP in the Goa polls, TMC MP and its Goa in-charge Mahua Moitra, in a Twitter post, had said, "Rest assured, we the AITC will do everything possible to defeat BJP in Goa…@Mamataofficial has done it in past & will not shy away from walking extra mile in Goa too."

Besides the Congress, Moitra tagged the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in this tweet. While the Congress has formed an alliance with the GFP, the TMC, a new player in the Goa fray, has tied up with the MGP for the upcoming polls.

Goa goes to polls on February 14 when polling will be held for all the 40 assembly seats in one phase. The results will be announced on March 10.

The Goa elections are crucial for both, TMC and AAP, as both are trying to create a mark in the state.

Mamata Banerjee, who is trying to spread her Trinamool Congress beyond West Bengal, has already made her intentions clear by poaching several Congress leaders. The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the 2017 assembly elections with 17 seats. However, the BJP, which won 13 seats, managed to form the government with the help of allies.

Meanwhile, the Congress has been pushed to the margins in the coastal state as it has lost most of its MLAs to other parties. It will be interesting to see how the Congress reacts to Pawar's proposed coalition talks after the bitter exchanges the grand old party has had with the Trinamool Congress over the poaching of its leaders.

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