Goa minister Vijai Sardesai rules out mid-term polls in state
Goa minister Vijai Sardesai on Tuesday ruled out mid-term polls in the state and said the Congress first needed to look at its coalition government in Karnataka before criticising the Manohar Parrikar-led dispensation over infighting between allies. He was referring to opposition Congress's earlier claim that the BJP may opt for early dissolution of the Assembly and go for simultaneous Lok Sabha and state polls this year.
The Congress has also been criticising the BJP-led Goa government over the infighting between two alliance partners - Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Independent MLA Govind Gawade. Sardesai said the opposition party should rather ponder over its government formed in alliance with the JDS in neighbouring Karnataka, where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had on Monday threatened to step down following adverse comments by a Congress MLA.
"In Karnataka, the chief minister has threatened to quit. Here (in Goa), our chief minister is not threatening to quit which is a much better situation. Here at least the CM wants to continue. What does the Congress want to say about it?" he asked. Sardesai is leader of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), which is also an ally of the BJP in the state government.
Ruling out any threat to the Goa government, he said, "Basically, local Congress organisations and perhaps, the Congress high command may want an election. None of the elected representatives want election. I don't think anybody other than the Congress wants to capitalise on Parrikar's health condition." Parrikar, 63, has been suffering from a pancreatic ailment. Ever since his discharge from the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi in October last year, he has been recuperating at his private residence in Goa and has also made a few public appearances.
Sardesai claimed that GFP has a 'Plan B', in case attempts are made to destabilise the Goa government. "If anybody wants to leave, he will leave. But I don't think anybody wants to leave. We formed the government to keep it together," he said. "I have a 'Plan B' ready, I don't know whether it is ready with the BJP, that they have to take a call," the GFP leader said, without elaborating further..
(With inputs from agencies.)