Former Goa industries minister and BJP MLA Mahadev Naik on Friday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), about six months before legislative assembly polls in the state expected early 2022.

The AAP, that made a debacle debut in the Goa assembly polls in 2017, is positioning itself as a serious contender in the upcoming assembly polls in Goa and has been inducting volunteers into the party fold. Welcoming Naik into the party, AAP national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “We will work together to serve the people of Goa and give them a better quality of life.”

Naik, a minister in the cabinet of former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, is a two-time MLA from the Shiroda constituency in South Goa. He, however, also had an outing with the Congress. He lost the 2019 bypoll he contested from the Congress. BJP’s Subhash Shirodkar, a former Congressman, had won the seat in the 2019 bypolls.

“AAP is the only people centric party in Goa right now,” said Mahadev Naik. “Where was the BJP government when Goenkars were suffering during the Corona pandemic? Only Goa AAP was helping fellow Goenkars going door-to-door to help check oxygen levels. When Goenkars were out of jobs, it was the AAP and not the BJP that provided ration to the Goenkars,” he said.

“BJP promised a Congress Mukt India but today it is Congress Yukt BJP. Goa government is a joke. ….It is my firm belief that only the Kejriwal model can give a good future to the youth of Goa and that is why I have joined AAP,” added Naik.

Naik was inducted into the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi on Friday in the presence of Goa state convenor Rahul Mhambre and senior AAP leaders Satyendar Jain and Atishi.

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