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Goa Minister slams coalition ally for taking on BJP

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Panaji, March 26 (IANS) Amid brewing discontent in Goa’s ruling coalition, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude on Tuesday said that leaders of the ruling alliance party, the MGP, play the role of ‘jokers’ in a pack of cards.

Speaking to reporters here, Gaude, an Independent MLA, said it was unfair on the part of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to be part of the alliance and at the same time contest the Assembly by-elections against the BJP, the leading coalition partner.

"…they are very sharp politicians, they are seasoned politicians of Goa. They play a role of joker, that’s all," Gaude said.

In the recent past, the MGP, led by the Dhavalikar brothers — Sudin and Deepak — have been part of ruling coalition governments led by both the Congress and the BJP in the coastal state for more than two decades.

The MGP tied up with the BJP in the mid-90s and had allied with the Congress after the 2007 Assembly polls, only to align with the BJP again in 2012.

In 2017, the MGP contested on its own, only to subsequently join the BJP-led coalition government in a post-poll alliance.

Gaude also slammed the MGP for resolving to contest against the BJP in the upcoming state Assembly by-polls at Shiroda, where MGP president Deepak Dhavalikar has thrown his hat into the electoral ring.

"After all we have to give a stable government to the people," Gaude said.