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Congress can’t win Goa Assembly elections on its own: Shiv Sena

NEW DELHI: The Shiv Sena is upset at being given a cold shoulder by the Congress over its proposal to repeat the Maharashtra coalition experiment in the Goa Assembly elections.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the political situation it Goa is such that the Congress cannot go beyond single digit if it contests the assembly polls in the coastal state on its own.

“The Congress has only three MLAs in Goa. The party’s MLAs have deserted it enmasse. Key political parties, we (Shiv Sena and NCP) had offered to support the Congress in its difficult times. But I don’t know what the Congress is thinking. It cannot cross the single digit mark if it contests alone,” Raut told reporters here.

Raut, who had held a round of discussions with AICC in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundurao, CLP leader Digambar Kamat and Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar, said he had placed a proposal that the Congress contest on 30 of the 40 assembly seats and leave the rest for its allies.

He said the 10 assembly seats, where Congress has not won elections in the past 50 years, could be allocated to Shiv Sena, NCP and Goa Forward Party.

Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was favourable to the idea of an alliance but the local Congress leadership had a different view.

Raut said the Shiv Sena was ready to support the candidature of former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Utpal should he decide to take the political plunge in the assembly polls.

“Utpal has to take the courageous decision to contest the elections. You need to be courageous to contest elections. If he takes that decision, the Shiv Sena will support him,” Raut said.

Raut recalled that the Shiv Sena had supported the family of Lok Sabha member from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mohan Delkar, who was found dead in a Mumbai hotel last year.

Delkar’s wife Kalaben Delkar won the Lok Sabha bypoll as a Shiv Sena candidate.

Utpal had evinced interest in contesting the assembly polls from Panaji, a constituency represented by his father and four-term Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Utpal had also met Home Minister Amit Shah in this regard.

Goa goes to polls on February 14.

Source: Press Trust of India

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