Assembly polls: Goa likely to witness three-cornered contest

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For the Congress party, Goa elections are an important opportunity to salvage its political fortunes which sunk to the lowest level during the 2012 state polls.

Realising the ground reality, the Congress, after initial reluctance, is now ready to forge a pre-poll alliance with like-minded parties like Goa Forward, NCP and Atanasio Monserratte-led United Goans Party, in few constituencies.

The party is expected to announce about its alliance on January 10.

After a humiliating defeat in 2012 when it was reduced to a single digit party (of 9 legislators) in Goa Assembly, its Goa unit chief Luizinho Faleiro and All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar have been trying to bring the party back into a position to fight the polls.

Independent legislator Vijai Sardesai-led Goa Forward Party is likely to form an alliance with Congress, which may pose a formidable opposition to the BJP in the state.

Interestingly, the Congress has made promises similar to the ones made by BJP during 2012 polls.

“The BJP’s promises of zero tolerance to corruption, drugs and prostitution have been a failure. We want ethical tourism and not drugs, prostitution and casinos in the name of promoting tourism in the state,” Faleiro said recently.

“At the same time, we will ensure protection of environment and ecology,” he said.

Faleiro himself is in the election fray this time, contesting from the Navelim constituency.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has also been trying to make an impact on the coastal state’s polity.

Several groups which were neither with the BJP nor with Congress have joined AAP, which has announced former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as its chief ministerial face.

Kejriwal has in recent times made frequent visits to Goa to gear up the party rank and file for the polls.

AAP has also said that it will contest in all the 40 Assembly constituencies, and expects to repeat the ‘Delhi magic’ in Goa too.

Kejriwal yesterday said that the contest would be bi-polar in the state, with AAP against others.

“BJP and Congress are having a friendly fight in the polls. But their fight is spoilt by AAP. People now have a choice,” the Delhi Chief Minister said, adding that “the fight is between the honest and the corrupt”.

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