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2-min read

As Congress Attempts to Form Govt in Goa, Will Regional Parties Play Ball?

Sixteen Congress MLAs submitted a letter to the Governor Mridula Sinha urging her not to dissolve the 40-member Assembly, but instead invite the Congress to form the government.

Mayank Mohanti | News18.com

Updated:March 11, 2019, 12:49 PM IST
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As Congress Attempts to Form Govt in Goa, Will Regional Parties Play Ball?
Seen here is the Congress flag. (Representative photo)
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New Delhi: The Congress on Monday staked claim to form the government in Goa—this is their fourth attempt to form a government in the coastal state since the Assembly elections last year—even as the BJP mulls its options after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar checked into All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, for an undisclosed illness.

Sixteen Congress MLAs submitted a letter to the Governor Mridula Sinha urging her not to dissolve the 40-member Assembly, but instead invite the Congress to form the government.

Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar claimed the Congress has support of legislators from other parties and can form the government. "We will prove our majority on the floor of the House," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Goa CM Manohar Parrikar was flown to Delhi for a follow-up treatment at AIIMS, according to BJP sources, for a series of tests.

This gave ample reason to Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which has three legislators in the Parrikar-led government, to suggest that it was "high time" the CM hand over the charge to the senior most minister in his absence.

MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar is the senior most member in the Parrikar-led Cabinet, and is an elder brother to party president Deepak Dhavalikar.

However, with the BJP ruling out a change in leadership in Goa, a disgruntled regional party might offer the Congress a solid chance to form government in the state.

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.

Scenario 1: Congress (16) + MGP (3) + Independent (3) = 22

Before Goa went to polls, the other regional party, Goa Forward Party (GFP)-led by Vijay Sardesai, which won three seats in the 2017 assembly election, initially expressed the need of an alliance to counter the BJP. However, all efforts to forge an alliance between the party and the Congress failed.

Now, the Goa Congress wants to revive relations with Vijai Sardesai-led GFP.

“The Congress is ready to provide a stable alternative government provided other parties are ready to join hands with us by not compromising the interests of the people of Goa,” AICC Goa in-charge A Chella Kumar told The Economic Times on Sunday.

A statement was issued by Goa Pradesh Congress Committee's president Girish Chodankar, which read, "The Congress has never hesitated to play the role of a constructive and effective Opposition, but we will not hesitate to come forward and take responsibility to form a government.”

Scenario 2: Congress (16) + GFP (3) + Independent (3) = 22

Congress is the largest party with 16 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly and is five short of the halfway mark. In Manipur and Meghalaya, too, Congress lost the chance to form the government despite winning more seats than the BJP. The Congress would want to exploit this opportunity and sound a clarion call for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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