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Congress, NCP speak in different voices over Goa poll tie-up

While the Sharad Pawar-led party appeared open to an alliance with Congress, the latter asked some pointed questions to NCP, apparently miffed by statements of its senior leader Praful Patel.

By: PTI | Panaji |
September 27, 2016 1:32:52 am
goa elections, goa elections 2017, congress in goa elections, congress ncp alliance in goa, goa congress ncp alliance, goa elections update, praful patel, india news, indian express, NCP senior leader Praful Patel’s statement have reportedly irked the Congress party.

Congress and NCP leaders today spoke in different voices over forming a pre-poll alliance in Goa for the next year’s Assembly elections, indicating a rift between the former allies on taking on ruling BJP. While the Sharad Pawar-led party appeared open to an alliance with Congress, the latter asked some pointed questions to NCP, apparently miffed by statements of its senior leader Praful Patel. Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said Patel should first clarify whether NCP finds his party fit to form an alliance with. “Patel should first clarify whether they find Congress fit enough to form an alliance with,” Singh said when asked about the possibility of the two parties tying up for the polls in Goa, where they were once ruling partners.

“Somewhere he had made a statement regretting NCP  entering into an alliance with Congress. Let him clarify that first,” Singh added.
The Congress leader was reacting to a statement by Patel in Akola blaming Congress for the downfall of NCP in Maharashtra. “Congress sank and took us down as well. In the last five years, it is because of Congress that NCP workers and supporters have suffered,” Patel had said on September 11. “I had said that in the context of Maharashtra. In Maharashtra, we were together, but (at the) last minute, there
was no alliance with Congress. As a result both of us lost,” Patel told PTI in Vasco town yesterday. Meanwhile, Patel today told reporters it is the responsibility of all secular parties to ensure that the ruling BJP-MGP combine is defeated in Goa.

“It is not NCP’s responsibility alone (to ensure BJP’s defeat). It is the responsibility of larger parties like Congress and therefore we are willing to look at secular alliance,” the NCP leader said. Patel said currently NCP is not in an alliance with any party, not even Congress, at state or national level. In Goa, the NCP will contest at least 8 to 10 Assembly seats out of the total 40, the former Union Minister said. “By and large rank and file of NCP is intact. In between there were some setbacks but now many people are willing to join NCP. By the time election comes, we will be in a position to send a few MLAs to the Assembly,” Patel added.

He said coalition government is going to be the future of Goa politics as the case is now and was also in the past.

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