Panaji: The differences have begun surfacing in the alliance between Congress and Goa Forward Party (GFP) with the leaders of both the political outfits accusing each other for the poor performance during the recently held Goa Legislative Assembly election.
Congress’ North Goa District President Vijai Bhike initiated the verbal dual when he said “it was wrong on the party to have alliance with Goa Forward Party.”
“I feel that we made a wrong decision by having an alliance with Goa Forward as the alliance did not benefit Congress in any way but another party took advantage of it,” Bhike told reporters at Saligao constituency in North Goa on Friday.
He also accused GFP President Vijai Sardesai of failing to win Mayem and Mandrem seats, while pointing out that the vote share of GFP dropped to 1.8 per cent in 2022 election from 3.5 per cent for 2017 polls.
On Saturday, GFP candidates Santosh Kumar Sawant (Mayem) and Deepak Kalangutkar (Mandrem) through a press conference in Panaji condemned the statement of Bhike.
“One should recall that GFP President Vijai Sardesai, two years back, had given a call for Team Goa against BJP but the Congress leaders kept on delaying it till our leader (Sardesai) met Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi ahead of elections and announced the alliance,” Kalangutkar said.
He said that even after Sardesai’s meeting with Gandhi, the local Congress leaders continued pestering with the claims that “alliance is yet to be announced” creating doubts about the tie up.
“We condemn the statement of Bhike. I doubt whether Bhike is making such statement after consulting his senior party leaders or is being dictated by someone else,” Kalangutkar said.
During the press conference, Sawant said that the people of Goa wanted to send BJP home but division of votes gave different leaders. “If alliance had to happen one and half years ago, the results would have been different,” he said.