Panaji, March 27 (IANS) Still smarting from the departure of two party MLAs who joined Goa’s ruling BJP on Wednesday, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) President Dipak Dhavalikar said the outfit was considering fielding candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as well as all the three Assembly bypolls.
If the MGP sticks to its stand, the going will get tough for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), considering that both the parties appeal to the sizeable Hindu conservative vote bank in the coastal state.
Dhavalikar also said that the BJP was trying to finish the regional parties in the country and accused the ruling party of committing “political dacoity” by poaching MGP lawmakers in the dark of the night.
“The MGP is in the process of fielding candidates for both the Lok Sabha seats in the state. There is a demand from party workers to field Sudin Dhavalikar from the South Goa seat while Naresh Sawal could contest the North Goa constituency. The candidatures will be finalised in two days,” Dhavalikar said at a press conference here.
At 1.45 a.m. on Wednesday, two out of the three MGP MLAs — Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar — split from the party and merged with the BJP, citing victimisation by the MGP leadership.
Later, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant sacked Deputy Chief Minister and the now lone MGP MLA, Sudin Dhavalikar, from the cabinet. Sawant also said that Pauskar would be sworn-in as a Minister later.
Dhavalikar claimed that the BJP was poaching MLAs from other parties because the ruling outfit was unable to get its own legislators elected.
“There is little chance of the BJP MLAs winning in the current political atmosphere. That is why they are breaking MLAs. If one goes by what happened today, this national party uses and throws people and parties. They are trying to finish the regional parties. This is political dacoity,” he said.
Asked whether lone MGP MLA, Sudin Dhavalikar, would be formally withdrawing support to the Sawant government now that he has been dropped from the cabinet, Dhavalikar said: “We will take a decision on this in a couple of days.”