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2 Allies and a Dark Horse in CM Race as Parrikar’s AIIMS Visit Leads to Scramble for Power in Goa

As Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar headed to Delhi for treatment, there were reports of him having told the party high command of his desire to relinquish office.

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Updated:September 15, 2018, 2:00 PM IST
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2 Allies and a Dark Horse in CM Race as Parrikar’s AIIMS Visit Leads to Scramble for Power in Goa
Amid the drama, all eyes are on minister Vishwajit Rane. The son of former CM and Congress heavyweight Pratapsinh Rane, Vishwajit’s rise in the party in the last one year has been phenomenal. Rane Junior is a three-time MLA and won the 2017 elections on Congress ticket.
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New Delhi: The turn of events in Goa politics over the last 48 hours has made the BJP tread with extreme caution in a state where its government is stilted by support from two regional parties and some independents.

As Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar headed to Delhi for treatment, there were reports of him having told the party high command of his desire to relinquish office. At a hospital where he has been convalescing in Goa, he is said to have met leaders of two regional outfits supporting his government to discuss the transition.

Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) leader and state PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar had a meeting with Parrikar in the presence of Goa Forward Party and Town Planning Minister Vijay Sardesai.

Both parties have three MLAs each in the Assembly. The BJP has 14 MLAs in the House of 40. The BJP, its allies and Independents have a strength of 24, while opposition Congress has 16 MLAs.

It has been reported in the local media that a few options are being discussed in the ruling coalition:

Sudin Dhavalikar merges the MGP with the BJP and is made the chief minister. But the other two MLAs of the party and the organisation are not too eager to latch on to this offer.

Dhavalikar becomes deputy CM and runs the government in the absence of the ailing CM, but the MGP does not merge itself with the BJP. Dhavalikar in his meeting with Sardesai in the presence of Parrikar is said to have sought the Goa Forward Party leader’s backing for the formula.

The Goa Forward Party, which has as many MLAs as the MGP, is not keen to support another regional outfit for the CM or Deputy CM’s post. Sardesai, with three MLAs, is said to have for long nourished CM ambitions.

Amid the drama, all eyes are on minister Vishwajit Rane. The son of former CM and Congress heavyweight Pratapsinh Rane, Vishwajit’s rise in the party in the last one year has been phenomenal. Rane Junior is a three-time MLA and won the 2017 elections on Congress ticket. He quit the party, accusing the top leadership of not being serious about government formation in the state despite winning 17 seats in the House of 40.

He later joined the BJP and won from his seat on the party symbol with a massive margin. Rane is said to have developed a good rapport with the current BJP leadership at the centre.

| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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