New Delhi, Mar 14: Manohar Parrikar was sworn-in as the Goa Chief Minister on Tuesday evening, a day after he resigned as the Defence Minister. Along with Parrikar, eight other legislators took oath as cabinet ministers. The cabinet of Manohar Parrikar includes two legislators each from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward party (GFP). The remaining four slots were given to two BJP MLAs, along with two independent legislators who extended support to BJP.
As per sources, Manohar Parrikar is likely to hold on to four portfolios, including the vital law and order. GFP leader Vijay Sardesai is expected to be allotted the crucial Urban Planning Ministry, whereas, MGP’s Sudhir Dhavalikar would be granted PWD Ministry, sources claim. The official allocation of portfolios is likely to be confirmed by Saturday.
Parrikar’s swearing-in ceremony was attended by Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP chief Amit Shah. Parrikar took oath as the CM on fourth occasion. His third tenure, between 2012-14, came to an end after Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to appoint him as the Defence Minister. The charge of Defence Ministry was taken over by Arun Jaitley on Tuesday. 10 points:
- The floor test to ascertain the strength of Manohar Parrikar’s government would be taken on Thursday. BJP is confident to showcase the support of 21 duly elected legislators. Along with 13 BJP MLAs, 3 independents and 3 MLAs each of MGP and GFP are supporting the party.
- Addressing the press after his swearing-in ceremony, Parrikar said, “Congress had no majority. Their 17 MLAs were packed in a bus, because they knew that if they travel in cars, some might disappear. There is infighting among themselves. When they ruled for 10 years, they had 12 CMs. Because of no clear leader, they were not able to stake claim before the Governor.”
- “We agree that the mandate was fractured. But now we have took our number to 22 through post-poll alliances. Everyone wanted to support BJP, only with the condition that PM Modi should send me back to Goa for forming the government. The government which we have formed includes MGP, GFP and independent lawmakers. This coalition represents the votes of 55 per cent Goans,” Parrikar added.
- In a bid to lure the BJP allies on the day of floor test, Congress state unit chief Luizinho Faleiro indicated that the party may give the CM post to someone else in order to prevent the BJP from coming to power. “Our leader Sonia Gandhi has set the example of sacrifice before use. Despite being the most popular leader then (in 2004), she decided to make Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.”
- However, MGP legislature leader Sudhir Dhavalikar confirmed that his party would not be switching allegiance to Congress, owing to the ideological divide between them. On the other hand, GFP leader Vijay Sardesai, who used secularism as a poll plank, decided to join forces with BJP. His decision led to rebellion within the cadres of GFP, with party president Prabhakar Timble submitting his resignation.
- Congress high command expressed disappointment over the the failure to not form their own government in Goa. Senior party leader Renuka Chowdhary voiced the mood of Goa’s elected legislators and party workers, saying, “There is a high level of frustration and disappointment in the party. Despite emerging as the single largest party, we failed to form the government.”
- On being asked whether the party should hold Digvijay Singh accountable, Renuka Chowdhary said, “That is for the party to decide. But the fact is that a popular mandate has been stolen by BJP.”
- Congress also refrained from holding Rahul Gandhi responsible for the fiasco in Goa. On being asked by NDTV about critics seeking Rahul’s demotion within the party, Renuka said, “Removing Rahul Gandhi won’t solve the problem.”
- Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of forming majority in Goa by bribing the the regional parties and independent legislators. “In the two States where we won, democracy has been undermined by them [BJP] using financial power, money. That is what is happening,” the Congress vice president said.
- Arun Jaitley struck back at the remarks of Rahul Gandhi, saying post-poll alliance is not a new phenomenon in Indian politics.