The Shiv Sena, which is contesting the Goa Assembly election in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), announced its first list of nine candidates on Friday.
Announcing the list, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that while the party had nominated Shailendra Velingkar as its candidate for the Panaji seat, the Sena would withdraw its candidate if Utpal Parrikar, son of late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, decided to contest from the same seat, which was traditionally held by the late Mr. Parrikar.
Mr. Raut agreed with the view expressed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee that the Congress ought to be held responsible if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the upcoming election slated on February 14 and formed the next government in Goa.
Mr. Raut said that despite the Sena and the NCP presenting a proposal to the Congress to form a pre-poll alliance along with the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Congress had not responded to the plan.
“I agree with Abhishek Banerjee’s remarks… We [the Sena-NCP], too, had tried to parley with the Congress and had held a meeting with [Congress leaders] Dinesh Gundu Rao, Digambar Kamat and Girish Chodankar with the proposal that Congress, NCP, GFP and Sena should form an alliance. But unfortunately, this was not to be,” he said, adding that the Congress needed to introspect.
The Sena leader, however, disagreed with Mr. Banerjee’s statement that the Congress’ senior election observer P. Chidambaram should be held responsible in the event of a Congress defeat.
“Mr. Chidambaram is only executing the decisions taken by his party’s high command. The Shiv Sena had presented a proposal before the Congress as per which it would contest 30 seats, while the remaining ten seats could be distributed amongst the alliance partners, including the NCP, Sena and the GFP (Goa Forward Party), which were seats where the Congress had never won,” said Mr. Raut.
He said that Shiv Sena leaders from Maharashtra, including Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray, would be campaigning in Goa.
The Sena’s list includes its State unit chief Jitesh Kamat, who will contest from the Mapusa constituency.