Panaji: The Congress staked claim to form the government in Goa even as the BJP mulls alternate options in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who is undergoing treatment in AIIMS, Delhi.
Sixteen Congress MLAs submitted a letter staking claim to the Raj Bhavan but could not meet Governor Mridula Sinha as she is out of town. The delegation has sought time to meet her on Tuesday.
In the letter, the party said that no attempt should be made to dissolve the House. This is the fourth time the Congress has staked claim to power in Goa since emerging as the single-largest party in assembly elections last year.
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said, “The party urged the governor not to consider dissolution of the state Legislative Assembly, which is a possibility considering internal fighting in the ruling alliance and illness of Parrikar.”
He added, “The Congress has support of legislators from other parties and can form the government if given a chance by the governor. We will prove our majority on the floor of the House.”
The BJP has ruled out a change in leadership in Goa, saying Parrikar was doing fine. BJP president Amit Shah has sent three senior members of the party — BL Santhosh, Ram Lal and Vinay Puranik — to Goa to take stock of the political situation in the coastal state. The three-member team, which is on a two-day visit to Goa, also met BJP’s allies in the state.
After the meeting, Lal said the BJP’s alliance partners — the Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independents — conveyed that they would agree to any political decision taken by the saffron party.
Sixty-two-year-old Parrikar, an IIT engineer-turned-politician, has been admitted to AIIMS for follow-up treatment reportedly for a pancreatic ailment.
Earlier, alliance partners had asked the BJP’s central observers to provide a permanent solution to the situation arising out of Parrikar’s illness and his absence from day-to-day administrative work.
The BJP currently has 14 legislators in the 40-member Assembly, while the GFP and the MGP have three each. The national party is also supported by three Independents. The Congress has 16 MLAs while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one legislator.