Goa, witness to political carnival, says Sena’s Raut after TMC AAP enters poll fray
Panaji, Oct 1 (PTI) With the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) throwing their hats in Goa's Assembly poll ring, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said the state was currently witnessing a "political carnival".
Addressing a press conference, Raut also announced that his party would contest 22 to 25 seats in Goa without forging any pre-poll alliance, and added that if voted to power, his party would shut down the casinos in the state.
Election to the 40-member Goa Assembly is due in February next year. The state is currently being ruled by the BJP, while the Congress sits in the opposition.
"I have heard that TMC is also fighting the polls in Goa. The political parties from Delhi and West Bengal are contesting in Goa. So many leaders are switching sides. What we are currently witnessing in Goa is a political carnival," the Rajya Sabha member said.
He claimed that the Shiv Sena, which is from neighbouring Maharashtra, has a strong base in Goa where it has been present for over two decades.
"We are emotionally and culturally connected to Goa," Raut said.
When asked about the possibility of his party's alliance with the NCP and the Congress in Goa, as happened in his home state, the Sena leader said, "The politics of Maharashtra is different from that of Goa."
He asserted that the Sena's move of contesting on its own will not cause any division of opposition votes. "We have our own base and we are sure to win on majority seats with it," he said.
Raut said his party has taken up several issues in Goa, including the demand to reduce the duty hours of women police staff in the state.
Goa's former Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro, who has joined the TMC, on Thursday announced that the Mamata Banerjee-led party plans to contest all 40 seats in Goa on its own.
The AAP has already thrown its hat in the ring ahead of the polls, with the party's national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing free power up to 300 units per month and 80 per cent jobs for locals if his party is voted to power.
In the last Assembly polls, the Congress had won the highest number of 17 seats, restricting the BJP to 13 seats. However, surprising the Congress, the saffron party allied with regional parties and formed government under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar. PTI RPS