With tieup in mind, NCP puts Congress on notice

With tieup in mind, NCP puts Congress on notice

Sharad Pawar-led NCP has conveyed its unhappiness to the Congress brass about AICC’s alliance talks “failing to make desired progress”. The development comes even as a section of the NCP is advocating talks with Mamata Banerjee’s AITC and Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP for a third front in Goa.

It is learnt that NCP general secretary and Goa in-charge Praful Patel conveyed his party’s unhappiness about the state of alliance talks to AICC in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao, election observer P Chidambaram and GPCC leaders. Patel has told the Congress time was running out.

“We hear Congress leaders of Goa are bickering over its election strategy and that the AICC has been unable to sort it out, so far. The NCP has been reasonably patient, but we can’t wait endlessly,” said a NCP leader privy to the development. A section of Goa’s NCP leaders including party MLA Churchill Alemao has started advocating alliance talks with AITC and stressed that Sharad Pawar could take the initiative for an anti-BJP and non-Congress third front which would include AITC, AAP, NCP and others.

Rao had recently said that Congress would hold alliance talks with NCP, Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP), but many senior Congress leaders in Goa are divided over alliances with NCP and GFP, while there is a larger agreement on aligning with MGP. According to Congress insiders, those opposed to the alliance with NCP were of the opinion that Congress was strong enough to put up a good show on its own. They argue that the number of seats NCP has sought was disproportionate to its ‘limited ground presence’ in Goa too. They also have reservations about Alemao, saying he had sided with the BJP government in the state. Similarly, a section opposed to tie-up with GFP cite its leader Vijai Sardesai had ditched the Congress and helped BJP form the regime after polls in 2017, besides conducting a ‘cheap campaign’ against Congress in Goa. Stakeholders feel the Congress high command will have to decide on how to tread on the slippery alliance in Goa to fight BJP and resist AITC’s poaching bid.

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