As both the BJP and Congress in Goa hold parleys with regional parties for formation of a coalition, an online petition on Sunday asked the Goa Forward to shun any tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The petition signed by Goa Forward supporter David Aguiar said many of the BJP’s controversial decisions, like increasing the number of casinos, de-classification of coconut trees and nationalisation of rivers, were opposed by the Goa Forward.
“All these (decisions) were opposed by you when in the opposition. We humbly request you not to align with the BJP as it will disappoint all of us,” the petition said. The petition, addressed to Goa Forward President Prabhakar Timble and founder-member Vijai Sardesai, has been signed by 213 persons within hours after it was released online.
The Goa Forward, which has three members in the newly elected Goa legislative assembly, had campaigned against the ruling BJP in the run-up to the February 4 elections. But over the last few days, some of its leaders, including Vijai Sardesai, have praised the leadership capabilities of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, a former Goa Chief Minister.
Timble said all options related to the alliance were open for his party. The Congress, the single largest party with 17 elected legislators, and the BJP with 13 lawmakers are negotiating with the regional parties and Independent candidates to form a government in the coastal state.
The magic number mark in the 40-member assembly is 21. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Forward have won three seats each. Three independents also have been elected. The Nationalist Congress Party has won one seat.