Bicholim independent MLA Naresh Sawal has withdrawn himself from being the mentor of Goa Forward Party (GFP), which is the brainchild of Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardessai and supported by Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte.
Speaking to this daily, Sawal said that he was associated with the Goa Forward earlier as it was a movement. “I was mentoring Goa Forward, which was a movement earlier, but after it has become a party, I have withdrawn myself,” he said.
Stating that after the movement has been converted into a party, he has ceased to be associated with the GFP, Sawal said that he would take a decision only after consulting his supporters. He said, “We were together as a united opposition in the assembly. As far as the party is concerned, I want to know what the party stands for and the policy of the party and then after consulting my supporters, I will take a decision.”
He said that the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has invited him to join the party and talks are underway with senior leaders of MGP. However, responding to the speculations of him joining the MGP, he said, “I have only three options to go for, either I join MGP or go with GFP or contest once again as an independent.” He said that his next steps will depend on the issues that the parties take up as the core issues during the forthcoming elections.
When Sardessai and Khaunte were recently questioned during a press conference on whether the unity of the trio had disintegrated and their third partner had decided to go his way and not follow the GFP, both had remained mum. Sardesai had said, “He is very much in Goa and the question should be asked to him. We cannot answer on his behalf.”
Earlier this month, MGP leader Ramakrishna Dhavalikar and the party workers in Bicholim had stated that they are with Sawal and he would be fully supported by them if he is allotted the MGP ticket from Bicholim.
Sawal, however, discarded the options of him joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress or Aam Aadmi Party. “I have been told by my supporters that the BJP and Congress or any other outfit apart from the MGP or GFP cannot be the options for me,” he said.