Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Goa chief Subhash Velingkar’s Goa Suraksha Manch party has formed an alliance with the Shiv Sena for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state next year, The Hindu reported on Sunday. The alliance has been formed on the basis of a common understanding between the two parties on the issue of the medium of instruction in primary schools in the state.

The Goa unit of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena will work out details regarding matters such as seat-sharing with the GSM. Thackeray called the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state an “opportunist” organisation, and said, “Once it gets elected to power, the BJP turns blind,” according to the Hindustan Times. State BJP president Raosaheb Danve said Sena, which is a coalition partner of the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, had the right to contest elections on its own. “In the past too, [the] Sena has contested in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,” Danve said.

Velingkar formed the GSM on October 3, a month after he was sacked for protesting against the state BJP government on the issue of the medium of instruction in schools. Velingkar’s Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch has opposed the BJP patronising English medium schools and sanctioning grants to the Archdiocese-led primary institutions. Anand Shirodkar has been appointed the president of GSM, which is likely to field 35 candidates. Currently, the BJP has 21 seats in the 40-seat Goa Assembly.