Nearly two years after being sacked from the BJP-led coalition government in the coastal state, a regional party Goa Forward on Tuesday announced its withdrawal from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), blaming Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for leading a regime marked by corruption and dishonesty.
The party’s executive committee passed a unanimous resolution at a meeting in Panaji snapping its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led national alliance and shot off a letter to Union Home Minister and chairperson of the NDA Amit Shah to the effect.
“I write to you today formally declaring the Goa Forward party’s withdrawal from the National Democratic Alliance. There is no doubt that our relationship with the NDA ended in July 2019, with no room for reconsideration. So, consistent with our democratic commitments and the will of the people of Goa, we announce the termination of our participation in the NDA,” President of the Goa Forward party and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai said in his letter to Shah.
“Since July 2019, the state leadership of the BJP in Goa has turned its back on the people of Goa who looked ahead with hope to the prospect of all-round development of our beloved state. The unfortunate demise of Manohar Parrikar brought Goa to despair, while ushering in a period of rampant corruption and dishonesty with the elevation of Pramod Sawant as the 13th CM of Goa,” the letter said.
“His advent proved highly unfortunate and continues to be detrimental to the lives of common Goans. The unprecedented incompetence and lack of basic skills for governance along with immaturity and apathy, have wreaked havoc with the everyday lives of hardworking Goans and continues to threaten Goa’s unique way of life, heritage, environment and livelihood,” it added.
The Goa Forward party had contested the 2017 state Assembly polls on an anti-BJP plank. However in a flip flop, the party joined the BJP to form a post-poll alliance after which all its three elected MLAs were appointed as cabinet ministers in the Manohar Parrikar-led government.
After Parrikar’s death in 2019 and the elevation of Pramod Sawant as CM, all three ministers including Sardesai — who was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister for a few days — were dropped from the cabinet after which the Goa Forward was forced to the opposition benches in the state Assembly.
The letter comes days after a Congress party official challenged Sardesai to formally quit the NDA before cobbling up an alliance with Congress-sponsored candidates to contest an upcoming municipal election.