Panaji, March 14: Manohar Parrikar, who sworn-in as the chief minister of Goa on Tuesday, rejected allegations of bribing regional parties for support. Parrikar also dismissed the charges of poaching MLAs from Opposition camp. However, he claimed that some Congress legislators have indicated that they want to join the BJP camp.
“Congress cannot manage their party. I agree, they were the single largest party. But they could not reach out to the regional parties. 6 or 7 leaders among them were fighting for the (legislature party) leader’s position. This infighting is not a new concept to them. When they were in power for 10 years, 12 chief ministers were changed,” Manohar Parrikar said during the interview with NDTV.
‘Received messages from Congress MLAs wanting to switch over’
On being asked whether BJP was in touch of any Congress MLAs or vice versa, Parrikar replied, “No. Our coalition government comprises of MGP, GFP, independents, headed by BJP. I don’t need their (Congress MLAs) support, nor did I approach them.”
However, Parrikar further added, “But I can’t stop them from sending messages. I received messages from some Congress MLAs wanting to switch over. They passes the message to me. But as I said, I don’t indulge in such malpractices. Neither do I need their support, nor am I interested.”
‘Not a BJP government elected. But a coalition government headed by BJP’
Parrikar agreed that BJP did not emerged as the winner of the elections. On the question whether Goa has been stolen from its popular mandate, Parrikar replied, “No one emerged the winner. We did not lose. It was a fractured mandate. This government will be a coalition government headed by BJP. Our ally MGP was part of the previous BJP government as well. For some reasons, we decided to contest independently in this round of elections. Now we have united again.”
Parrikar dismissed Congress’ allegations of unethical politics practices by BJP. “I don’t see any reason why it should be termed as something wrong. Post-poll alliances could be formed. The coalition comprises of members who have been voted by 55 per cent of the Goans,” he said.
‘Have led 3 coalitions. Know how to lead this one again’
Parrikar is confident of winning the trust vote in Goa assembly on Thursday. He reiterated that the government headed by BJP would not be unstable, and comfortably last the five-year tenure. “I have lead coalition governments thrice in my career. There is no chance of instability. The government in Goa would last for five years.”
“Those who have offered BJP support wanted only condition fulfilled. They wanted me to come from Delhi and lead this coalition. For the betterment of Goa, party has decided to send me back to Goa from Delhi.”
‘No question of money changing hands’
Parrikar said that no one in Goa would believe in Congress’ allegations against him. Fighting against graft his entire political career, Goans have no doubt about his character, Parrikar claimed. He added: “None of the allies or MLAs were offered anything. Their demand was only that I should return to power. As far as Congress is concerned, those thinking about money could only make such allegations.”
“Being the Defence Minister, I built a reputation which you could inquire about. During my tenure, all agents and touts disappeared. I will never allow corruption in any form,” Parrikar said, while speaking on news channel NDTV.