Goa Forward Party on Tuesday joined hands with the Congress to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party to end its “utterly corrupt, incompetent and undemocratic reign” ahead of the state Assembly elections, said party chief Vijai Sardesai.

The elections to the 40-seat Assembly is scheduled to take place next year. The Congress is seeking support of smaller parties in the state to fight the BJP, according to PTI.

The announcement came after Sardesai met Congress leader and its former chief Rahul Gandhi.

The Goa Forward Party was a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance but had walked out of the coalition in April. Sardesai had accused the saffron party of introducing “anti-Goan policies” in the state.

The party was part of BJP leader and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s government between March 2017 and July 2019. After Parrikar’s death in 2019, three Goa Forward Party ministers were dropped from the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government. The party then withdrew its support from the BJP government.

Sardesai’s party had announced the decision to quit NDA after it had formed an alliance with the Congress to contest the Margao Municipal Council polls in April this year.

On Tuesday, Sardesai said the continuance of BJP’s rule in Goa was an “impossibility”.

“Proud to be working for the 2nd liberation of Goa with the great grandson [Rahul Gandhi] of the person who enabled the 1st,” tweeted Sardesai. “The curse of the communal and anti-Goan
Pramod Sawant government will be blown away!”

Prasad Gaonkar, an independent MLA who was at the meeting between Sardesai and Gandhi, had previously pledged his support to the Trinamool Congress, reported The Quint. In October, Gaonkar had announced that he would join the the Trinamool Congress once his office term came to an end.

Earlier in September, veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro had quit the Sonia Gandhi-led party and joined the Trinamool Congress.