Says GFP won't be required to play a major role for the national party and claims to be in a vacation mode
MARGAO: Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai, while not making it clear whether or not he will campaign for the BJP candidate in South Goa said, "BJP candidate will have to espouse on regionalistic sentiments. If they only start speaking on national issues then good luck to them."
Sardesai who is also the TCP and Agriculure Minister, when asked whether his party will support the BJP Lok Sabha candidate said, "We are in alliance with the BJP and form part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). We are not opposing the BJP candidate for now, which is as good as supporting," he said.
Sardesai's support for the BJP South Goa candidate is important as the party is seen to be losing its vote bank in the mining belts of Ponda, Sanguem, Quepem and some talukas which the BJP had won in the 2014 election. Sardesai and his team during the 2014 LS elections had stood by Congress candidate Aleixo Reginaldo Lourence and had managed to dent the BJP vote bank to a great extent.
However, now with mining closure becoming a burning issue in the State, the arithmetic of votes has become even more confusing. When asked Sardesai said, "The BJP is a national party and has its presence in all constituencies like other national contestants. We won't be required to play a major role for the BJP and are in a vacation mode now," he said.
Political observers claim that GFP's support for the BJP has now become imperative with the reported lost ground in mining areas. "We are more on the sidelines but aware of our responsibilities," Sardesai said.
Commenting on MGP, he said, "The BJP has a benefit of not being constantly troubled by us (Goa Forward) unlike the other alliance partner (MGP) who is in a predicament. We don't face dilemmas which the MGP faces. We are well off."
Sawaikar kicks off campaign
South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar revealed that he has started his campaign and claims to have received a good response. He said he was in Sanguem, and has already traveled to Cuncolim, Sanvordem and will go to Vasco.
Asked whether there is backlash against his party in the mining belt he said, "Everyone I met in the mining belt is of the opinion that only BJP can solve the issue. Supreme Court application on mining has been kept for hearing and once that application is heard half the issues will be solved."