The Congress on Monday said it would begin talks with parties that oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party to form a government in Goa, The Indian Express reported. This came after exit polls predicted that that the BJP and the Congress could win 15-16 seats each.
“Whichever party is against the BJP, we will talk with them and we are ready to take them on board,” said Dinesh Rao, who is in charge of party’s desk in Goa. “I am not talking about any particular party now. Any party that does not want to support the BJP, we are willing to accommodate them.”
Rao told the reporters on Sunday that if Congress failed to get the majority of seats, it was open to seeking the support of outfits such as the Aam Aadmi Party, the Trinamool Congress and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to form the government in Goa, The Economic Times reported.
Rao added that after the final results were out, the Congress would not waste time in electing its leader, ANI reported. “If Congress gets a majority, we will stake [a] claim to form a government the same day,” he said.
Last month, Congress had maintained a different position on potential coalitions. Senior party leader P Chidambaram had said that the Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress lacked winning potential, Business Standard reported.
Addressing a meeting in the Nuvem Assembly constituency on February 7, Chidambaram said that “voters should not waste their votes by supporting the AAP or the TMC rather they should choose the None of the Above option”.
Meanwhile, Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar on Monday said that the party did not have confidence in the credibility of exit polls, the Hindustan Times reported. “We will get a majority on our own,” he said. “The exit polls showed the BJP to be winning the 2017 Assembly elections and us, in the second position. That was reversed by the actual results.”
Elections to the 40-member Goa Assembly were held on February 14 and the results would be declared on March 10.
In the 2017 state Assembly elections, the Congress had won 17 seats. The BJP won only 13. But the saffron party formed government in Goa by forging an alliance with other parties and some independents.