Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) was Goa's first ruling party after the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1961. In the first elections held after India took over the former Portuguese colony, it ascended to power in December 1963 and stayed on, till being ousted from power by defections in early 1979.The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party came into prominence under the able leadership of Dayanand Bandodkar. He was also the first Chief Minister of post Portuguese Goa. Bandodkar was able to draw to him the allegiance of the non-Brahmin sections of the Goan society.
The MGP contested 25 seats whereas the BJP fielded its candidates from 12 constituencies. However, in the state elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party, yet again, winning 18 seats. The MGP received 12 whereas 4 BJP legislators were also elected.MGP is the oldest and most significant regional political party in Goa. Its motto is populism and regionalism. Non-brahmin Hindus constitute a major portion of Goa’s population and it serves to be the base of this party.UGP is the biggest contender of MGP, their main difference being their ideological differences. MGP endeavors to merge Goa with Maharashtra and give Marathi the status of an official language of Goa, which UGP is completely against.
Following an election in the early 2000s, the MGP were reduced to just one seat (out of a total of 40 seats) in the Goa legislative assembly, while the BJP made large gains.In the Lok Sabha parliamentary elections of 2004, the party had launched candidates in both constituencies in Goa. They got 5377 and 2207 votes.This not only brought enough revenue to the state treasury, but also increased employment in the state of Goa. This makes Goa excel in some basic Human Development Indicators, unlike in many bigger states like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
The MGP withdrew support from the Congress prior to the 2012 state Assembly elections. Its importance declined so considerably that talks of dissolution of the party were underway. However, to revive the party’s prominence and organizational set up, amended its constitution in August, 2013. This decision, the first in 50 years of its existence, was crucial to kick forward its role in the political space in Goa. Presently, it is in collaboration with the BJP in the state which has formed the government in the state. The MGP has 3 legislators in the Goa Assembly formed in 2012.During the first 18 years after integration with independent India, MGP led the state government. Today, however, the MGP is marginalized when compared to its former status. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), particularly during its reign between 1999 and 2005, was showing increasing signs of having taken over most of the Hindu voters, and a large chunk of the party cadre.
The Election Symbol of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is a “Lion”. This symbol of the lion is usually drawn on a saffron coloured flag used to depict the MGP. As is well known, the lion is a fierce animal, undaunted and full of strength. The “Lion” is symbolic of the strength and determination of what the MGP propagated. The MGP’s strength of struggle was largely based on its fight for the ideology of Populism, besides its demands for merging Goa with Maharashtra.
Address and Contact Details Head-Office Address of MGP: Maharashtrawadi Gomantak, Vikas 'A' Building, Near Shri Saibaba Temple, 18th June Road, Boca-De-Vaca, (Gomukh), Panaji, Goa - 403001