Despite being a runner-up behind the Congress, the BJP today pulled off a coup and staked the claim to form the next government in Goa in coalition with local outfits and independents under Manohar Parrikar, a day after the fractured verdict.
As the saffron party outmanoeuvred the Congress in its bid for power, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh has accused Parrikar of indulging in “horse trading and “hijacking the popular mandate which was in favour of the Congress.”
Capping the day of fast-paced developments, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha tonight appointed Parrikar, the BJP Legislature Party leader, as the chief minister and asked him to prove majority on floor of House within 15 days of taking oath.
In evening, the BJP members led by the incumbent Defence Minister called on the Governor and formally staked the government formation claim.
The BJP has enlisted the support of two independents, three members each of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).
Though the lone NCP member Churchill Alemao has also backed the coalition, he is yet to submit the formal letter of support.
“Governor Mridula Sinha has appointed Manohar Parrikar, the Leader of the Goa BJP legislature party, as the chief minister of Goa,” Rupesh Kumar Thakur, Secretary to Governor has stated in the press note issued here tonight.
Parrikar has submitted evidence before Governor, the support of 13 MLAs of BJP, 3 MLAs of MGP, 3 of Goa Forward party and two independent MLAs thus having a total strength of 21 MLAs in the 40-member assembly, it stated.
“The Governor has asked Parrikar to prove majority in the Legislative Assembly session within 15 days after administration of oath of office,” the note said.
The BJP, which has bagged 13 seats, four less than the Congress which has emerged as the single largest party, stole the march on its rival which has failed to muster the numbers to capture power.
In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, MGP (3), GFP (3), NCP (1) and Independents (3).
“Though the BJP fell short of the numbers required to form government, with the help of alliance partners, the magical figure of 21 seats is achieved.
“I promise that we will give stable government which will work towards the development of the state,” Parriakr told reporters in a joint press conference with Union minister and BJP’s Goa election incharge Nitin Gadkari.
Addressing reporters after the BJP staked the claim, Gadkari said Parrikar will resign as Defence Minister before taking oath as Chief Minister of Goa.
“When none of the parties could get absolute majority in Goa, it was obvious that we would form the government with the like-minded parties. I held meetings with MGP and Goa Forward Party who put forth the condition that they would support the party only if government is led by Manohar Parrikar,” he said.
Gadkari said the decision to send Parrikar, who was doing a “tremendous good job as defence minister, back to Goa has been endorsed by BJP Parliamentary Board.
(With inputs from PTI)