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Maharashtrawadi Gomantak (MAG)

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party Symbol

About Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, popularly known as the MGP, is a regional political party in the state of Goa. The MGP is significant as it is the oldest political party in Goa, which came into existence after liberation from Portuguese colonization of
Goa. After Goa achieved independence in 1961, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party came into power in the state, ruling Goa from 1963 when the first Assembly elections to the state were held, till 1979 when it was ousted out of power due to defections. The party operates on a Centre political position.

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 mass base of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party comprises the non-Brahmin Hindus, who form the majority of the oppressed, poor sections of Goa.

The party’s dominance in power in a 16-year stretch, defeating its major political opponents, the United Goans Party (UGP) and later the Congress, was due to its political ideologies of Regionalism and Populism. A grave ideological battle entailed between the two key players in the state, the MGP and the UGP, over the issue of retaining Goa’s unique identity. The MGP believed in a political merger of Goa with Maharashtra, as the cultures of these two states were almost similar. The party’s concern of accepting Marathi over Konkani as the official language of the state, owing to the latter’s weak dialect, was strongly opposed by the UGP, which held a different political ideology. The United Goans Party, a Christian-majority party, led by Dr. Jack Sequeira, asserted Goa’s independent existence as a separate state, with Konkani as the official language. The issue was finally taken over by the Congress-led Central government, and in a historic opinion poll unanimously held in Goa, the people of the state opined in favour of a separate state of Goa, which was ratified in 1987. Konkani was chosen as the official language of the state. The Maharashtra Gomantak Party lost significance after the historic opinion poll was held in the state. Though the MGP was in alliance with the Congress for a most of the elections, the ascendency of BJP in the state was synonymous to the steep decline of the MGP. 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.

Election Symbol and its Significance

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. The MGP wanted to protect the interests of the oppressed non-Brahmin Hindu sections of the society, by granting them economic independence and political benefits.

The MGP fight is viewed by many as a determined battle to fight caste oppressions against the so-called lower caste Hindus, by the Brahmin and Christian elites. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party members were determined to gain for Goa its unique identity through merger with Maharashtra, at all costs. Hence the importance attached to ‘Maharashtrawadi’ in its title. Regional unity was to be achieved through cooperation and consolidation of all non-Brahmin sections of the society. The MGP adhered to the idea of giving immense power to the state of Goa, by countering the dominance of particular elite sections of independent Goa. For this, the non-Brahmin Hindus had to be strong, fearless, full of mettle and spirit and always prepared for the worst circumstances, just like a lion. The Lion as a symbol of the fighting spirit of the MGP, is thus very significant.

Leaders of the MGP

The leaders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:
  • Pandurang Dhavalikar (alias Deepak Dhavalikar), Chairperson of MGP
    He is one of the three Members of Legislative Assembly in the present BJP-led government in Goa. He is also a Minister of the Goa government in the BJP-coalition. He represents the Priol, Mormugao constituency in the Assembly of Goa. The two Dhavlikar brothers, Deepak and Sudin, have a domineering presence in the MGP.
  • Narayan Sawant, Working President of MGP
    He was chosen as the Working President of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, owing to Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar’s attention to be imparted on becoming MLA of the state in the 2012 Assembly elections. Only after Dhavalikar became MLA in the BJP-led government, the working of the MGP was given in the hands of responsible member Narayan Sawant.
  • Lavoo Mamledar, General Secretary and National Secretary of MGP
    He is one of the three Members of Legislative Assembly in the present BJP-led government in Goa. He is also the National Spokesperson of the party.
  • Ramakrishna Dhavalikar (alias Sudin), MLA
    He is one of the three Members of Legislative Assembly in the present BJP-led government in Goa, formed in the 2012 Assembly elections. He represents the Marcaim constituency in the Goa Assembly.

Achievements of the Party

As a regional political party of India and as the only party in Goa to have been in power for a total 16-year stretch, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party has had a number of significant achievements. Some of these are listed below:
  • The Dayanand Social Security Scheme, named after the first Chief Minister of Goa and founder - leader of MGP, Dayanand Bandodkar, was started by Deputy CM and Minister of Social Welfare Development, Ramakant Khalap of the MGP, to ensure pensions to the old people of the oppressed non-Brahmin Hindus in Goa.

  • When in power, the MGP successfully completed the River Linkage Project in Goa, by ensuring steady water supply to Goa through linkages of all rivers and other water bodies in and around Goa. The Tillari Irrigation Project in Goa, which ensured a complete solution to the water shortage problem in Goa, was done under the able administration of Khalap of the MGP.
  • The MGP has been putting up a continuous dedicated fight to ensure that Marathi, along with already-existent Konkani, is made the official language of Goa. It has led a continuous demand to give Marathi an equal status in Goa, at par with Konkani, which was ratified as the official language of the state in the year 1992.
  • Infrastructural developments in the state of Goa were completed under the ministerial responsibilities of men like Khalap. The MGP completed a national highway and several bridges in the state of Goa, namely NH 17 at Dhargal and a massive bridge on the Chapora river in Mandrem in Goa.
  • The Konkan Railway Corporation was built by the MGP, which led to the making of the Konkan Railways in the state of Goa. 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.

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

MAG Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha Election Results Year Wise

Lok SabhaVidhan Sabha
StateLatest YearSeats WonLatest YearSeats Won
Goa 2019020173

Last Updated on March 10, 2015