Goa 2017

Goa BJP wants Parrikar as CM

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar prays at a temple opposite the BJP headquarters in Panaji on Saturday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar prays at a temple opposite the BJP headquarters in Panaji on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

In a bid to bring up a majority in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly, the Congress on Sunday trained its guns on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, asking him to focus on his Ministry at the Centre rather than “fish” in Goa's politically troubled waters following a fractured mandate.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Digvijay Singh after presiding over a meeting of newly elected party legislators in Goa on Sunday morning, said that the legislative party has unanimously resolved to request the party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, to advise them on the issue of choosing leader of the Congress legislative party (CLP) ahead of staking claim to form government.

Mr. Singh attacked the BJP and Mr. Parrikar in particular for refusing to accept the defeat of the party and “trying to twist the mandate of the people to try and form the government”.

On the BJP front, the elected MLAs on Sunday passed a resolution demanding the return of Mr. Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa.

The resolution was passed at a meeting of BJP’s MLAs, attended by Mr. Parrikar, Union Minister for Roads, Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of State for AYUSH and caretaker Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. Mr. Parrikar exited the meeting temporarily when the resolution was passed, BJP MLA from Calangute Michael Lobo told presspersons after the meeting.

“We want Mr. Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa. We have faxed our resolution to party national president Amit Shah,” Mr. Lobo said.

Mr. Parrikar was Chief Minister of Goa before he was elevated to the Union Defence Ministry in November 2014.

Alliance talks

Mr. Lobo said that the top leaders of the BJP, which emerged as the second largest party in the February 4 elections with 13 seats, were in talks with the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and MGP leadership, as well as independent candidates over formation of an alliance.

 

Both the regional parties have won three seats each, while three Independent candidates have also been elected. The BJP needs the support of eight MLAs to reach the 21 figure in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly.

Congress, single largest

The Congress has won 17 seats and has emerged as the single largest party.

“We are confident of getting the required numbers and stake claim to form government on Monday,” Mr. Lobo said.

In the Congress headquarters, after attending a CLP meeting, Mr. Singh launched a scathing attack on Mr. Parrikar saying, “We are all very surprised over the the hunger for power of Mr. Parrikar and the BJP. I have never seen in any other State where a political party which is outrightly rejected, where a Chief Minister has lost, six of the Ministers have lost and many of the MLAs have lost and yet they are staking the claim to form the next government.”

“They should be magnanimous in their approach, they should accept the defeat,” said Mr. Singh.

On the decision of CLP to make a request to party high command to advise them on choosing the leader, Mr. Singh said that this was the usual practice but at the same time AICC expects to solicit views of individual MLAs and, therefore, Venugoplaji, Chella Kumar and he himself will meet all the MLAs, take their views in most transparent manner so that the person who has largest support in CLP will be asked to lead.

“This process should be over by 5 p.m. on Sunday and in the mean time we are also in touch with non-BJP MLAs and we are absolutely confident hat we have the number on our side and they are more than 21,” said Mr. Singh.

 

“We don’t take anyone for granted, we had discussion with both (GFP and MGP) and they have told us, ‘you elect your leader and they will respond’,” Mr. Singh said when asked about the warning of GFP leader Vijay Sardesai to Congress not to take the party support for granted.

“We have offered nothing, we don’t believe in horse trading,” Mr. Singh said when asked what the Congress has offered them.

“As we have a fractured mandate we are seeking support from all non BJP MLAs without compromising on core promises made in our manifesto. We have learnt our lessons, corruption shall not be tolerated. We shall sincerely work for Goa and Goans. Congress should also understand that the people of Goa have given us last chance to perform or else perish. May God help us,” Mr.Singh added.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:43:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/goa-2017/goa-bjp-wants-parrikar-as-cm/article17451607.ece

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