Panaji: To counter Congress’ attempts to form an alternate government in Goa in the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, BJP president Amit Shah is expected to meet the party’s leaders in the state and work out a strategy to stopover opposition’s disruption bids.
Shah called Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief Vijai Sardesai on Tuesday and discussed the political situation in Goa to “ensure stability”. The BJP chief informed him that the BJP was sending a team of observers to the coastal state to take stock of the situation.
Sardesai has reportedly been upset over rumours that Parrikar asked Dhavalikar, a minister from the Maharashtra Gomantak Party – a BJP’s ally in Goa, to charge as his deputy.
The current situation in the state can turn out to be a thorny issue for the BJP as the party does not have distinguished faces to temporarily replace Parrikar. Shah’s intervention would be crucial to ensure that the party’s allies in the state do not dissent while he works out on a deputy to take charge in Parrikar’s absence.
Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, is currently admitted in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment.
Meanwhile, the Congress in Goa today claimed that it had the support of over 21 legislators in the 40-member Assembly, giving it enough strength to form the government in the state.
The Congress, which is the single-largest party with 16 MLAs, has already staked claim to form the government in the coastal state.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar told PTI that the Congress had enough support to form the government in Goa.
“We have the required numbers. I am not going to tell you whom we are in discussions with, but we need the support of 21 MLAs and we have more than that,” he said.
The Congress legislators, led by Kavlekar, had met Governor Mridula Sinha on Tuesday and demanded a floor test by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to prove its majority in the Assembly.
Kavlekar said his party was waiting for a response from the governor, who had assured them that she would get back on the issue in three-four days.
The state is being ruled by the BJP with the support of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Independent MLAs.
The BJP has 14 seats in the Assembly, the GFP and the MGP have three each and the NCP has one. There are also three Independent legislators.
Kavlekar claimed the political situation in the state was in the favour of the Congress as there was a lot of “discontent” among the ruling coalition partners.
On May 18 too, the Congress had staked claim to form the government in Goa, citing the example of Karnataka, where the largest-party, the BJP, was invited to form the government after the Assembly polls threw up a fractured verdict.
The Congress had said it was not invited to form the government in Goa after the Assembly polls last year, despite emerging as the single-largest party.
The party representatives had also met the governor on September 7, urging her to intervene as the state administration was suffering due to the failing health of the chief minister.