Panaji: Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has set a deadline of January 24 for BJP to take a call on the pre-poll alliance.

MGP President, Dipak Dhavalikar told the party was ready to contest 16-18 seats on its own.

"We are discussing pre-poll alliance with BJP... we have asked for 10 seats. They have to decide by January 24," he said.

MGP, the oldest regional political outfit, currently shares power with Congress-NCP at the state level, but has decided to leave the coalition and join hands with BJP. MGP had a pre-poll alliance with BJP last time in 1994.

Dhavalikar said that alliance would benefit both the parties. "There is a strong base for MGP throughout Goa, and even youth are getting attracted to us," he claimed.

MGP currently has two legislators in Goa Assembly. To retain the traditional `lion' symbol, it will have to get at least three MLAs elected in the March 3 election.

Dhavalikar said that MGP stayed in Congress-NCP alliance only for survival. "The party has been losing its sheen after a spate of defections in the 90s. Now we have managed to revive it," he said.

Dhavalikar's brother Ramakrishna is a minister in the Digambar Kamat cabinet.

"Corruption-free government would be our main agenda," Dhavalikar said. "Digambar Kamat was a bad administrator, due to which the government suffered acute problem of corruption," he alleged.

(Agencies)