Parrikar Sails Through Goa Floor Test. Here's How Numbers Added up
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar won trust vote on the floor of the Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday, putting an end to the political crisis in the coastal state for now. The vote of confidence was ordered by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. This was after the Congress requested the apex court to stay the swearing in of Parrikar and his cabinet, which the SC rejected.
New Delhi: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar won trust vote on the floor of the Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday, putting an end to the political crisis in the coastal state for now. The vote of confidence was ordered by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. This was after the Congress requested the apex court to stay the swearing in of Parrikar and his cabinet, which the SC rejected.
Parrikar was finally sworn in as CM on Wednesday. The state of Goa voted for a hung assembly on February 4, when it went to polls. As the results started coming in on Saturday, it was clear that the BJP had lost majority it had won in 2012. The BJP was reduced to second place with 13 MLAs. The outcome was so bad for the BJP that six out of eight cabinet ministers, including Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, lost their own seats. The Congress was the single-largest party with 17 MLAs, though it came up four short of a majority. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) won three seats each, one Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA won his own seat and debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) drew a blank. Three independent MLAs completed the tally in the 40-member Assembly.
Just when it looked like the Congress was tantalizingly close to the magic mark of 21 MLAs, the BJP moved swiftly. Manohar Parrikar, its tallest leader in Goa, was flown into Panaji to meet with the MLAs and the Governor. The Goa unit of the BJP moved a resolution demanding Parrikar as CM, a demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi honored. Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister and was sworn in as Goa CM. Soon, both the MGP and GFP, along with two independent MLAs, threw their support behind BJP on the condition that Parrikar be made CM. The Congress, with support from 1 NCP MLA and 1 independent, was still short of a majority. By Thursday, the one independent MLA had also shifted into Parrikar’s column. Even NCP MLA Churchill Alemao voted for the BJP government. Parrikar, with 23 MLAs supporting him, got more than the required number.
With the trust vote secured, the Goa CM now has an uphill task ahead of him. While portfolios have not been allotted yet, only two of the nine cabinet ministers sworn in are from the BJP. Three ministers are from the GFP, two from the MGP and two independents.
Speaking to CNN-News18 after winning the trust vote, he said, "Challenges makes a man more capable and all the challanges will be tackled.... No one wanted to go with the Congress. That is the truth. They kept luring MLAs. We did not promise anyone anything and yet MLAs came to us. Digvijaya Singh's neck is on the line so he is making excuses."
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