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Congress is in talks with NCP, 2 regional parties for Goa Assembly poll alliance: AICC official

Panaji, Nov 15 (IANS) The Congress in Goa is in talks with the Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward for the formation of an anti-BJP alliance, All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of the coastal state Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Monday.

Rao also refused to set any deadline for the formation of an alliance for the Assembly polls which are scheduled to be held in early 2022, but added that mistakes in alliance formation like those in 2017 would not be repeated this time round.

"(We are) in discussion with NCP, MGP, Goa Forward. They are in discussion with us. All of them are feeling that this BJP government has to go. But ultimately an alliance requires proper alignment, but that has to play out properly," Rao told reporters at a press conference in Panaji.

"We cannot have alliances when there is no alignment. Last time, the alliances did not have a proper alignment. We cannot repeat those mistakes. The mistakes of the past should not be repeated and we should do it in a proper manner. We will take a decision at the right time, after everything is aligned properly," he also said.

"I have also said that we are open for having an alliance with people who are from the soil, who identify with the Goan soil and community and share values with the Congress. So definitely, we will be open for that. Our main thing is to see that this government should go," he also said.

In the run-up to the 2017 state Assembly polls, the Congress had a loose understanding with several independent candidates who eventually supported the BJP to later form the government.

Rao also said that the Congress continues to be the main opposition party in the state, stating that the party was also ready to contest polls in all 40 Assembly seats if need be.

"Congress party has got its own strength, so we can contest all 40 seats also. But at the same time we understand that our first aim is to see that the BJP government goes, so we are working on it in different ways," Rao said.