Panaji, Apr 12 (PTI) Days after a Congress leader in Goa said the party won’t hesitate to “take over” in case the ruling BJP dispensation collapses, state unit BJP president Vinay Tendulkar today made light of the claim, saying the Congress had failed to grab that opportunity after the 2017 state polls.

Like their counterparts in rest of the country, BJP ministers and party MLAs in Goa today observed a fast against the non-functioning of Parliament.

Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik joined the leaders at Azad Maidan in Panaji to take part in the protest.

Hitting out at the Congress, Tendulkar said the opposition party had been on the slide across the country.

“The Congress should stop dreaming about forming government in Goa. They had an opportunity to form the government (after the assembly polls) but they failed to grab it. In fact, after the polls, the Congress’ strength in the (40-member) House fell to 15 from 16,” he said referring to the outcome of the 2017 state polls.

Though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Goa polls with 17 seats, it failed to form the government, as the BJP, which won 13 seats, cobbled up an alliance comprising two regional parties and three Independents.

Congress leader Shantaram Naik had last month said that if the Manohar Parrikar-led NDA government collapses on its own, the grand old party “will not shirk from its responsibility of taking over”.

Dismissing criticism that the administration has suffered in absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is in the US for medical treatment, Tendulkar said the BJP government was doing very well.

“The chief minister had formed a Cabinet Advisory Committee of three ministers to run the administration in his absence. He will return to Goa as soon as possible and take over the reins again,” said the BJP leader.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.