Willy's coalition plans joint poll strategy

| 28 November 1998 23:28 IST

With all the efforts to bring in the President's Rule and dissolution of the Goa Assembly being scuttled due to "over-protectiveness" of the constitutional provisions by governor Lt Gen (Retd) J F R Jacob, the coalition led by Dr Wilfred de Souza has now planned out a united strategy to corner the Congress government.

Besides electing de Souza as the opposition leader of the united coalition, the three parties - the Goa Rajiv Congress, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party - have also decided to face elections together on a seat-sharing basis.

"Elections may have to be faced any moment", feels de Souza, though the five-year term expires in November next year, "due to infighting within the ruling Congress over ministerial berths and portfolios." The Congress is only 20, besides the speaker, in the 40-member House.

Countering newly sworn in chief minister Luizinho Faleiro's claim that at least three more GRC men would rejoin the Congress, de Souza asserts that all 19 of them are united as a hard rock. The coalition government collapsed within four months as four GRC men, along with one independent, joined hands with the Congress camp.

Majority of the people in the state are presently disgusted with the governor's decision to invite the Congress to form the government, the third one formed with the help of the defectors in last four years, as they were expecting dissolution of the House, paving way for early polls.

De Souza's coalition is planning to capitalise this feeling by announcing that they would unitedly fight against the Congress, the party every thinking citizen in the state presently hates. Political pundits feel it would be a clean sweep for the coalition if the decaying conditions worsen during the Faleiro regime.

While the Congress has always won elections in the tourist state due to divided votes of the opposition, the alliance of all the anti-Congress forces may prove fatal for the ruling party. Secondly, it would also change Goa's politics with Hindu-oriented MGP and BJP joining hands with the leader of the Catholics - Dr Willy.

Though de Souza's GRC is very weak in Salcete taluka - the fort of the Congress, he is planning to rope in the United Goans Democratic Party, which strongman Churchill Alemao left to join the Congress but has remained intact as an umbrella for the anti-Congress Catholics here.

While the MGP has ratified the decision of the coalition, it is waiting for the BJP to approve it, after which they are planning to work out the strategy, predicting elections at any moment.

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