Goa: The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which is an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa, said that it will contest bypolls in all the three Assembly constituencies scheduled next month.

MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar made the announcement about the party’s decision to contest in all the three Assembly seats.

The move is likely to pit the regional party against the BJP in all the three Assembly seats of Shiroda, Mandrem and Maspusa, where by-elections will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 23.

The MGP is a coalition partner in the Manohar Parrikar-led government along with the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Independents.

The by-elections to Shiroda and Mandrem were necessitated after the sitting Congress MLAs resigned from the Assembly and the party to join the BJP.

The Mapusa seat fell vacant due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Francis D'Souza.

Dhavalikar earlier announced that he will contest from Shiroda, while the other two seats would be decided by the party’s central committee within the next two weeks.

Dhavalikar also added that his party decided to contest the bypolls "as a mark of protest against the trend of mid-term defections set in the Goa Assembly".

Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said they would try to convince the MGP not to field its candidates in the by-elections.

"We will hold discussions with them and I am sure they will respect our view," he said.

Meanwhile, GFP president Vijai Sardesai and Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, who is the state's revenue minister, said they would support official candidates of the coalition.

"As an alliance partner, we would be the last one to go back on our word we gave when we entered the alliance. Our karma will be in synergy with our dharma," Sardesai said.

He said the GFP will also support the BJP in both the Lok Sabha seats in the coastal state.

The MGP and GFP have three MLAs each in the 40-member Assembly.

(With inputs from PTI)