The junior alliance partners in the BJP-led Goa government today said the importance of regional parties cannot be undermined in politics.
The remarks came two days after BJP chief Amit Shah said his party aimed to win in at least 35 out of the total 40 seats in the next Goa elections.
The Manohar Parrikar-led state government, which came to power after the elections in March last year, is currently supported by the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP), and three Independents.
The MGP and the GFP have three legislators each in the Goa Assembly.
GFP president Vijai Sardesai said, “You can’t wish away the regional parties.”
“Look at the results in the Karnataka elections and the impact of the JD(S). You cannot undermine the importance of regional parties in politics,” he told PTI.
On May 13, Shah, while addressing the BJP workers near here, said, “We have to take the oath that in 2019, we will win both the (Lok Sabha) seats (in Goa), and in the next Assembly elections we will win in at least 35 out of the total 40 constituencies in Goa.”
The MGP also said that regional parties will always remain an important factor in Goa’s politics.
“It is Shah’s dream to win 35 seats. We also have a dream of winning 18 seats in the next Goa Assembly polls. We also have a dream of making Marathi as the state’s official language,” MGP chief Dipak Dhavalikar said.
He said everyone has to work towards achieving their dreams, but noted that regional parties have always gained a “sizeable share” of seats in the Goa elections.
“There are at least eight to nine seats which will always remain with the regional parties,” Dhavalikar claimed.
The MGP leader asserted that no national party can take regional outfits lightly in Goa’s politics.
“What I am saying has been proved by the results of some of the last Assembly elections in Goa,” he said.
The BJP currently has 14 seats in the Goa Assembly.
It came second in the state polls after the Congress (17 seats), but managed to garner support from other parties and Independents to attain majority and form the government led by Parrikar.