AAP candidate swears on affidavit not to join BJP

AAP candidate swears on affidavit not to join BJP

AAP candidate for the upcoming Panaji bypoll Valmiki Naik (Image courtesy Twitter)

Amidst a slew of legislators joining the BJP over the last couple of years, AAP candidate for the upcoming Panaji bypoll Valmiki Naik, in a unique move on Monday, swore on affidavit that he would not join the BJP-led coalition government or support the current ruling dispensation if elected.

Naik also told a press conference here that if elected, he would prefer to support a Congress-led government in Goa from outside, because Bharatiya Janata Party, with its divisive politics, “posed danger to the country”. 

“During my election campaign for the Panaji bypoll, I noticed that people are anxious about the deplorable trend of elected MLAs across party lines joining the BJP. This is why I came up with the affidavit, with the promise that I will not join the BJP or be a part of their government in anyway if I am elected as MLA,” Naik said.

“I will do everything in my power to ensure that BJP does not form a government. If that requires me to support a Congress-led government from the outside, I will support it, but I will not join any party’s government or take any post,” Naik added.

Since the 2017 state assembly election, as many as five MLAs from the Congress and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have joined the BJP, triggering popular outrage against the defection trend. 

Among the Congress MLAs who joined the BJP since 2017 are Vishwajit Rane, who is now Health Minister, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar. All three forfeited their legislature seat to join the BJP. In March this year, two MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar from the now former ruling alliance partner MGP, split the legislative wing of their regional party and joined the BJP. 

Unique initiative

AAP’s Goa convenor Elvis Gomes claims that the unique initiative was necessary to convince the electorate, that an AAP candidate if elected would not buckle under pressure from the ruling BJP, and was in sync with the party supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s missive, about taking on the BJP at any cost.

“...Kejriwal has said that the country faces a crisis of BJP’s attempts to divide the country. Not just Congress, all parties need to come together. BJP is a greater danger than anybody else,” Gomes said. 

The battle for Panaji assembly seat, which has been held by BJP since 1994, is expected to be a four-way contest with Naik taking on Congress’ Atanasio Monserrate, BJP’s Sidharth Kuncalienkar and Goa Suraksha Manch’s Subhash Velingkar.