If the Congress does not decide to align with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the upcoming 2022 Goa assembly polls, the "secular votes" in the state would be split, state NCP president Jose Phillip D'Souza said on Thursday, underlining the importance of an alliance between the two opposition parties. Addressing a press conference in Mapusa town in North Goa, D'Souza also urged the Congress to decide on the formation of a pre-poll alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led party at the earliest, in order to go into the state assembly polls with full preparation, while adding that his outfit was also in touch with other regional parties vis a vis the formation of a poll alliance. "Alliance is very important because I do not want division of secular votes. If there is a division of secular votes, there will be a problem for everyone," D'Souza said.
Also Read | Devendra Fadnavis appointed as BJP in-chargefor Goa assembly polls The Congress earlier this month had brushed aside a "15-day ultimatum" served by the NCP national general secretary Praful Patel, who had given the Congress a 15-days time to decide on an alliance between the two parties for the 2022 assembly polls. The 15-day deadline lapsed on September 15, with the Congress refusing to commit itself to any alliance talks with the NCP. D'Souza also said that Congress should not take the NCP lightly, adding that his party was in touch with other regional political parties over the possibility of forming an alliance. "NCP is talking to other parties. We are in touch with everyone, but a decision (on the alliance) will be taken by the party high command," D'Souza said. The NCP currently have only one MLA in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly.