Goa,9/3: A day ahead of the counting of votes, the marginal players in the coastal state of Goa may emerge as kingmakers in case of a fractured mandate as predicted by the exit polls.
While the Trinamool Congress is not commenting on the post-poll scenario, Ashok Tanwar, who was in Goa campaigning for the party, said, “The people want change, but the Congress is not able to give that alternative and the results will prove this. Our alliance in Goa will decide the course of action after the results are out.”
The Trinamool Congress is in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in Goa. But the Trinamool leaders are not sure about which way the MGP will move as the party has been more inclined towards the BJP and the Trinamool will not support any BJP move, sources said.
The Congress is reaching out to smaller parties in Goa in case of a hung Assembly as the BJP has already started to strategise its operation. The Congress has sent Karnataka party chief D.K. Shivakumar to Goa to oversee post-poll operations in the state.
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The Congress is wary of the BJP overtures to smaller parties and independents. The party has reason to feel apprehensive as in 2017 despite being the single largest party the Congress could not form the government as the party could not decide between Digambar Kamat and Luizinho Falerio to be the Chief Minister. Now Falerio has moved to the Trinamool.
Sources say that the Congress central leadership will reach out to parties like Trinamool, NCP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) while Shivakumar will talk to MLAs individually and try to manage the Congress flock in the state.
The Trinamool is tight-lipped about any moves and says that only when results are out, the party will decide what to do as it maintains equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress.
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Sources in the Congress said that Shivakumar is going to camp in Goa for three days to ensure that the grand old party, which missed a chance to form the government by a whisker in the last Assembly elections, does not commit the same mistakes again. Shivakumar is going to stay put in Goa till the new government is formed, sources added.
Goa is likely to witness a hung Assembly with ruling BJP and Congress going neck-and-neck, as per the ABP C-Voter Exit Poll. The fate of the state will depend on the smaller parties like the Trinamool-MGP combine and Independents, who can emerge as the king maker in the 40-member Assembly.