Sena tie-up in Goa 'political suicide': BJP Minister

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane also said, that political parties and leaders who sign up with the Shiv Sena alliance would commit political suicide because the Maharashtra-origin party had found no traction in the coastal state for decades. Photo/Facebook (@visrane)

The announcement of a new political front in Goa by an upbeat Shiv Sena has stirred up the political pot in the coastal state, with a Cabinet Minister describing the Shiv Sena as a "third-class" party that Christians here are afraid of.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane also said that political parties and leaders who sign up with the Shiv Sena would commit political suicide because the Maharashtra-origin party had found no traction in the coastal state for decades.

"Some people are talking about a Shiv Sena-led coalition in Goa now. No one will give these mad folk any place in Goa. Just because they have a government in Maharashtra does not mean Shiv Sena will win a seat or even one vote in Goa," Rane told reporters at a press conference in Panaji.

Political activity has picked up in Goa, ever since the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party cobbled up a coalition government under the aegis of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi last week in the neighbouring state. 

A day later, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, that a similar alliance would follow suit in Goa, with the help of the Goa Forward party which has three MLAs in the 40-member state legislative assembly.

While Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has ruled out any threat to his government and called Raut's overtures mere "political hype", Rane went a step further and said that aligning with the Shiv Sena in Goa, a state where the party has failed to get a single MLA elected over the last three decades since it was established here, was tantamount to "political suicide".

"What alliance are they talking about? Congress has said, that it will not support such a front. Sanjay Raut has said that four MLAs are in contact with us. No one is in support of them. We do not want to commit suicide. We do not want to commit political suicide by aligning with a third-class party with no presence in Goa," Rane said. 

The Health Minister, who was a former Congress MLA, also said that Goa's Christian population which accounts for 26 per cent of the state's population was afraid of the Shiv Sena.
"Those who are talking about aligning with Shiv Sena are already half dead because when Christians see Shiv Sena, they feel scared. We do not want a party which is associated with a sword in Goa," Rane also said.

Meanwhile, the Congress in Goa on Monday maintained, that it would start talks with the Shiv Sena for an alliance, only after the latter quits the National Democratic Alliance.

"We will consider talks with the Sena for an alliance, only when the party quits the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA," Congress spokesperson Trajano D'Mello told Deccan Herald. 

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