The Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai has announced that his party has formally severed all ties with the National Democratic Alliance.
In a letter addressed to Home Minister Amit Shah, Sardesai said that his party’s State Executive and Political Affairs Committee unanimously voted to break from the NDA. He wrote, “Gudi Padwa marks a new beginning not only for the party but also for all its supporters and workers who are looking forward to a new Goa—one that reflects the true aspirations of Goemkars, and signals the promise of hope and unity.”
Sardesai stated that the formal withdrawal was inevitable with the party having ceased to participate in any government programme, including the President’s visit to Goa for the 60th anniversary of Goa’s Liberation Day. He said, “our commitment to Goemkars precedes all; the GFP is out of the NDA forever, and we will never look back.”
Sardesai said that the BJP had been backstabbing the people of Goa since July 2019 by shifting its focus away from Goa with the introduction of numerous anti-Goan policies in the state. He stated that under the late Manohar Parrikar, the BJP used to be a party with a difference, and under Pramod Sawant it is a different party—an anti-Goan party. Vijai pointed out that the GFP’s relationship with the NDA has been dead since July 2019, and the party has taken on its role as a member of the opposition, and has vigilantly and rigorously attempted to hold the government accountable over issues like Mhadei, Mollem, Linear Projects, unemployment, COVID-19 among others.
Sardesai said “for two years the people have struggled and suffered under the incompetence and deceit of Pramod Sawant, and we have time and again limited and restricted his destructive ‘Sell Goa Now’ agenda, and fought to preserve the lives and livelihoods of all Goemkars including women and youth.
He said, “the BJP first killed democracy by murdering the 10th schedule with its manufactured majority, and then went on to divert our river Mhadei, cut down Mollem, give Goan jobs to outsiders, forced our youth to answer offline exams at the height of the pandemic, depleted our state finances, disregarded health and safety, and made Goa a lawless and crime-infested state.” Sardesai emphatically said “enough is enough, the people are fed up and want the BJP out.”
Sardesai highlighted that under CM Pramod Sawant, the development of Goa quickly turned into corruption and benefits galore for a handful of individuals who looked to make their “quick buck” with Sawant as CM. He said, “there is a reason why Parrikar never permitted double-tracking, and why Sawant completely disregards his legacy on Goa.”
The GFP chief pointed out that the time has come for a united political opposition against the BJP. He said, “for months now we have been working together to bring members of the political and civil society to extend their support to Team Goa.”
Sardesai said he was grateful for the overwhelming support and excitement the people and NGOs have shown to Team Goa and said, “our commitment to people of Goa always takes priority and that is why we have decided that today, the day of Gudi Padwa, is the most appropriate time to end our membership with the NDA, and vow to never again align with the BJP—just as we did by taking a solemn oath at the Bodgeshwar temple.”
Sardesai said, “Team Goa is our vision and mission to formulate a people’s alliance to bring forth a political reset for the people of Goa.” He expressed that “since the opinion poll of 1967, there has not been a people’s effort to change the way politics is conducted in Goa. Goemkars have that opportunity now and Team Goa is that platform for them.”
Sardesai invited all political parties, NGOs, civil societies and the people of Goa to come together and unite to defeat the BJP in all elections. Commenting on political alliances he said, “we should not only look at the big election of 2022, but ensure that even at our panchayat, municipal, and assembly levels, Goan voices, Goan ambition, and Goan aspirations always take precedence.”
The next assembly elections in Goa are due in early next year.