Congress, in Goa,
seemed resolute, confident of going it alone, in the 2022 Assembly polls. But, after
the elections and with the exit polls released Monday predicting a hung
Assembly in India’s smallest state, the grand old party is now looking to score
a post-poll alliance. Dinesh Gundu Rao, Congress’ poll in-charge in Goa, said recently
that the party was open to joining forces with “anti-BJP parties,” including Arvind
Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress

Also Read | Goa votes for 40 seats: Big politics in India’s smallest state

The statement indicates
a reorientation in Congress’ poll strategy. Earlier, the party had accused both
Trinamool and AAP of working in tandem with the BJP to cut into the Congress’
vote share. The Trinamool, which is making its first foray into the coastal
state, contested the Goa polls in alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak
Party (MGP), one of the oldest political players in Goa.

Opoyi’s exit poll
of polls
, which is based on an average of all published exit polls, predicts
15-18 seats for the BJP and 14-18 seats for the Congress. In the 40-seat
Assembly, a party or coalition will need 21 seats to secure a majority. Thus,
if the exit polls prove true, which they sometimes don’t, both parties will need
support from smaller parties to form the government. The MGP-TMC coalition may
just see itself emerge as the kingmaker after the results are declared on March

Also Read | ‘Abandoned’: Goa Trinamool chief hits out at Prashant Kishore’s IPAC

“Whichever party
is against the BJP; we will talk with them and we are ready to take them on
board. I am not talking about any particular party now. Any party that does not
want to support the BJP, we are willing to accommodate them,” Congress’ poll
in-charge told the Indian Express Monday.

“During elections,
there were many allegations made by the AAP and the TMC against us and we have
made them. That was during the elections. But now post the results it depends
on those parties what stand they want to take. For us, we are willing to work
with parties that do not support the BJP,” he said.

Also Read | Goa: Hung house prediction puts BJP on prowl, Sawant eyes MGP alliance

Meanwhile, BJP’s
Pramod Sawant
, the incumbent chief minister, is also eyeing alliance partners.
He said the party leadership is in conversation with the MGP about a post-poll
. MGP leader Sudhin Dhavalikar has said his party will decide on its
stance after the election results are announced by taking the Trinamool into
confidence, but will “never support” Pramod Sawant as chief minister.