MGP snaps ties with BJP, will back Cong in polls

MGP snaps ties with BJP, will back Cong in polls

Deepak Dhavalikar. ANI file photo

As Lok Sabha polls loom closer, the BJP on Thursday suffered a jolt with the already estranged MGP, finally snapping ties with the party. 

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party on Friday said that it would oppose the BJP tooth and nail in Lok Sabha elections and assembly bypolls and work along with the Congress party. MGP is smarting from a dramatic raid on its legislators by the BJP and the dropping of its deputy chief minister from the cabinet last month.

"There was no other alternative before the MGP. The BJP has betrayed us as well as the people of Goa by engineering defections in our party. We will teach them a lesson in these Lok Sabha elections and assembly bypolls. We will ensure their defeat by supporting the Congress," MGP working president Deepak Dhavalikar told DH, after a meeting of the party’s central committee earlier on Friday.

Things soured irreversibly between two parties in March, after the BJP in an overnight coup snapped two out of three MLAs from the MGP’s legislative party and inducted them into the BJP. Hours later, senior MGP leader and deputy chief minister Sudin Dhavalikar was dropped from the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet.

No danger to govt

Friday’s decision of the MGP does not put the state government at peril in the immediate sense, because the BJP-led coalition government still has the support of 20 out of 36 MLAs. 

But if the MGP, which like the BJP, appeals to the Hindu conservative vote bank, puts its weight behind the Congress and succeeds in defeating BJP candidates contesting the three assembly bypolls, then the legislative arithmetic may read differently.

MGP’s support to the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls would also be detrimental to the interests of the BJP candidates in both the constituencies.