Only political parties which want to commit suicide will join forces with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party this time, state Congress president Girish Chodankar said on Wednesday.
Chodankar, who is camping with the party’s candidates at a beach resort near Panaji, also said that all steps have been taken by the party to ensure that the BJP does not hijack its winning candidates like it panned out in a post-counting scenario in 2017.
“If any political party wants to commit suicide and destroy themselves, they should go to the BJP. The BJP is waiting for them with a knife, it will slaughter them as and when they want,” Chodankar told reporters.
“The Congress has always taken people along and respected them. We have not betrayed anyone. BJP has destroyed those people who helped bring the party to power. People of Goa have not forgotten this. People have no trust in BJP. There is no party left in Goa which wants to go with the BJP,” Chodankar also said, two days after several exit polls have suggested a tough contest between the BJP and the Congress in which both parties appear to be falling just short of the majority mark of 21 seats.
Asked why the Congress felt the need to shepherd all its candidates to a private resort, Chodankar claimed that the party’s candidates felt the need to work like a team and get to know each other better.
“All candidates wanted to stay alone. The people of Goa felt that the Congress voters who they had cast votes for should stay together like a team, because people are worried about the fact that despite voting against the BJP, BJP hijacks the government,” he said.
“It is not going to be possible this time. Our candidates are new and young and they want to stay like a team. This has given them an opportunity to know one another. That is why we are staying together. We have not forced anyone,” Chodankar added.
Chodankar also said that the Congress was in touch with non-BJP parties like the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and the MGP for joining forces to form a government in the coastal state.
“We have spoken to everyone who has fought against the BJP. We know we will get an absolute majority, but still in the interest of making this government truly one of the people of Goa, we want to take all political parties together,” he said.
“Independent candidates and several others are in touch with us already. Some independents want to identify with us right away, while some are looking at which way the wind will blow. It is up to them. We are not going to use pressure techniques. Independent candidates and political parties have understood the sentiment of the people of Goa and nobody wants the BJP back in power,” Chodankar said.