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MGP firm on contesting bypolls, says Deepak

PONDA: Despite the central leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party ensuring that the party retains power in the state by keeping its allies Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party (GFP) and 3 Independents intact, the MGP is firm on its decision to contest the upcoming bypolls in the state.

“Preparations for contesting the bypolls have gone so far that there is no backing out now. Party is firm on contesting the bypolls in the state, while I am firm on contesting the Shiroda seat,” said MGP president Deepak Dhavalikar while speaking to press men when asked about any new decision taken by the party on the issue of bypolls.

He said that considering the mourning period following the demise of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, the party has stopped canvassing, which, he said, will be resumed within a few days.

The MGP president said that the party had demanded three ministries for its three MLAs in return for being a part of the coalition government. “However, they did not fulfil our demand. So there is no scope for backing out from the bypolls until now,” he said.

According to sources in the MGP, the party supported the BJP-led government because it had no choice. The source said that MGP had demanded chief minister’s post for Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar or at least cabinet berths for all the three MLAs of the party. But Union minister and BJP’s central leader Nitin Gadkari gave the allies the only option of either Pramod Sawant as chief minister or dissolution of the assembly. As none wanted to face elections in the present situation, they agreed to the proposal and went ahead with the ‘deal,’ said the source.

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