Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said he agreed with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) that the Congress should be held responsible if the BJP wins the Goa assembly election and continues to occupy power in the state.
He said although the Sena had presented a proposal to the Congress to form a pre-poll alliance along with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the grand old party did not respond to the plan.
Raut was talking to reporters after announcing the party’s first list of nine candidates for the February 14 election, which it will be jointly contesting with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. Goa has 40 assembly seats.
TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee had on Thursday said that if the Congress fails to dislodge the BJP from power in Goa, the Congress state in-charge P Chidambaram should take responsibility and resign. He said the TMC had approached Chidambaram with a formal offer for pre-poll alliance, but nothing had happened.
“I agree with the comments of Abhishek Banerjee. We had also tried to hold talks with Congress. We 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,” he said.
Raut, however, said that Chidambaram should not be held responsible as he was only executing the decisions taken by the high command.
“Shiv Sena had presented the proposal before Congress as per which the Sonia Gandhi-led party would contest 30 seats, while the rest of the 10 seats could be distributed amongst the alliance partners, including NCP, Sena and GFP. These are the 10 seats in Goa where Congress has never won,” he said.
But the Congress did not respond to that proposal, he said, adding that the party should introspect.
The Sena’s list of first nine candidates include its state unit chief Jitesh Kamat, who will contest from Mapusa constituency.
“Our party has a clean image. It will create a history in Goa in this election,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
Another prominent candidate of the Sena is Shailendra Velingkar, son of former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, who will fight from Panaji.
Raut said that his party was ready to support Utpal Parrikar, son of former chief minister late Manohar Parrikar, if he contests as an independent.
Utpal was denied a ticket by the BJP from the Panaji seat, although he had expressed a desire to contest as its candidate from that constituency.
“If we support Utpal, we will also take an assurance from him that he would not support the BJP if it is voted to power,” he said.