Amidst a slew of legislators joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party over the last couple of years, Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Goa’s Panaji on Monday swore an affidavit that he would neither join BJP nor be part of any BJP-led government if elected, and asked his political rivals to do likewise.
Talking to reporters here, Naik said that he was forced to issue the affidavit in view of popular disenchantment among the electorate, which repeatedly questioned him during the poll campaign, as to whether he planned to join the BJP, if he got elected.
“I, the undersigned, if elected as MLA with the blessings of the people of the Panaji constituency in the bypoll of May 19, swear I will not join BJP. I will not support a BJP-led government. I make these two promises on this notarised affidavit,” the affidavit reads.
Naik said that he would be handing over copies of his affidavit to every house he visits during the campaign, “so that they know that I will not follow the current trend in Goa politics where several legislators have joined the BJP after getting elected to the Assembly in 2017”.
Five MLAs have resigned from their respective parties and joined the BJP after the 2017 polls. These include Vishwajit Rane of the Congress who switched over after the poll results were declared in 2017. Two other Congress MLAs – Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar – quit the party and joined the BJP in 2018.
Earlier this year, two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar split from the party and merged their breakaway legislative unit into the BJP.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who held the seat. The BJP has fielded Sidharth Kuncalienkar, a top aide of Parrikar and former MLA from the seat.