New Delhi: The Congress is reaching out to smaller parties in Goa in case of a hung assembly as BJP has already started to strategize the Goa operation. The Congress has sent Karnataka party chief D.K. Shivakumar to Goa to oversee post poll operations in the state.
The Congress is wary of BJP overtures to smaller parties and independents. The party has the reason as in 2017 despite being the single largest party the Congress could not form the government as the party could not decide between Digambar Kamat and Luizinho Falerio to be the Chief Minister. Now Falerio has moved to the TMC.
Sources say that the Congress central leadership will reach out to parties like TMC, NCP and AAP while Shivakumar will talk to MLAs individually and try to manage the Congress flock in the state.
The Trinamool is tightlipped about any moves and says that only when results are out, the party will decide what to do as it maintains equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress. The other party is MGP which is in alliance with the TMC but it is more inclined towards BJP.
Sources in the Congress said that Shivakumar is going to camp in Goa for three days to ensure that the grand old party, which missed a chance to form the government by a whisker in the last Assembly elections, does not commit the same mistake again. Shivakumar is going to stay put in Goa till the new government is formed, sources added.
Goa is likely to witness a hung assembly with ruling BJP and Congress going neck-and-neck, as per the ABP C-Voter Exit Poll. The fate of the state will depend on the smaller parties like the Trinamool-MGP combine and Independents, who can emerge as the king maker in the 40-member assembly.
Anticipating the results, the Congress has said that it will choose a legislative party leader within minutes of the announcement of election results on March 10 and stake claim to form the government. The party’s in-charge for Goa, Dinesh Gundu Rao said, the party will not repeat its mistake of 2017, when the party could not decide on a CM face and the BJP went on to form the government taking advantage of the delay by the Congress to stake claim despite emerging as the single-largest party.