As Equations Change in Goa, Could Parrikar Upset Congress?
With the BJP’s sweep in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the silver lining for the Congress was its thumping majority in Punjab and status as the single largest party in Goa.
A file photo of defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
New Delhi: With the BJP’s sweep in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the silver lining for the Congress was its thumping majority in Punjab and status as the single largest party in Goa. With 17 seats in the 40-member legislative assembly, Congress is closest to the magic figure of 21 MLAs needed to form the government. It is just four members short of a majority.
The Congress party’s celebrations, however, may prove to be short-lived. The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), with three MLAs each, on Sunday, threw their support behind the BJP.
Sudhin Dhavlikar, the leader of the MGP, even went as far as to say their support to the BJP was for the “development of Goa”. The BJP, which had formed the government in 2012, faced severe losses this year. Six of the eight cabinet ministers, including outgoing Chief Minister Laxminkant Parsekar, lost their own seats in the election.
The Congress took this opportunity to lash out at its arch rival and said that the people of Goa had “rejected the BJP”. Things, however, changed on Sunday after the Goa BJP unit passed a resolution, asking defense minister Manohar Parrikar to return to his home state as Chief Minister. Sources also suggest that the party’s Goa MLAs may also fly out to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the Congress hit back at Parrikar, claiming he, too, was rejected by the people of Goa. The Congress said that Parrikar would even resign from the Modi cabinet “if he has any morals”.
While support from the MGP and GFP put the BJP ahead of Congress by two MLAs, it would still fall short of a majority. Political posturing in Goa is far from over.
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