The Shiv Sena said it will contest about 20 seats in the Goa Legislative Assembly polls scheduled in 2017, while claiming that the people of the state are “fed up” with the BJP-led Goa government and that the party is the only alternative left in the state.
“We have dissolved the executive working committee of the party in Goa and we are in the process of forming a new one. We have decided to contest around 20-22 seats in the Goa Assembly polls. Our work there is going on in full swing,” said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who has been appointed Incharge of Goa.
He said the party’s star campaigner would be Uddhav Thackeray and that the schedule of his rallies would be made in the upcoming days.
When asked if the Sena is contesting the polls to plug a hole in the BJP’s vote share, Raut said, “People of Goa are fed up with the BJP and the Congress. Therefore, Shiv Sena is the only alternative left.”
“We are contesting the polls to win, so there is no question of us trying to diminish the BJP’s vote share,” Raut said.
When asked about the electoral issues for Sena, he said there are many, including Goa government’s “inability” to control the Russian and Nigerian drug mafia prevalent there.
“One of the electoral issues is language. The BJP had promised to give prominence to local languages like Marathi and Konkani. But they have failed to keep their promise,” he said.
“Also, the promise of closing down casinos has not been kept. Apart from that, unemployment, law and order issues need urgent attention. A staggering 50 per cent of Goa is controlled by Russian and Nigerian drug mafia. But the state government has been unable to stop them. People are completely fed up,” Raut said.
Out of 40 Assembly seats, the BJP had bagged 21 of the 28 seats it contested in the 2012 elections, polling 35.53 per cent votes.