Goa Forward Party, which has emerged as a key player in a hung verdict, has said that it will support Congress if certain conditions are met including the choice of the latter’s chief ministerial candidate.
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, Goa Forward’s president, Prabhakar Timble, said that his party had not yet given the letter of support to any party.
He said, “Goa Forward Party has not given letter of support to any party. We are happy to sit in opposition if proposals from either Congress or the BJP don’t suit what we stand for. As for Congress, the Governor it first to prove majority as it has emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats.
“But our support to Congress will only be in the event that there’s a common minimum programme and they make considerable efforts to win the trust deficit. Also, the choice of Luizinho Faleiro (Congress’s state president) as the new chief ministerial candidate is unacceptable.”
In the new assembly, Congress has won 17 seats while the BJP’s tally has gone down to 13. Both Congress and the BJP need 21 MLAs to form the government. For Congress, it has the support of one NCP MLA and an independent MLA. It will still require the support of three MLAs of Goa Forward party.
Goa Forward is peeved over the way Congress ditched the alliance before the polls, allegedly at the behest of Faleiro. Faleriro had then caused huge political controversy in the coastal state by expressing his willingness to seek support from the breakaway group of the RSS.
The party’s central leadership had, however, rejected the idea.
Meanwhile, Digvijay Singh, the Congress’s general secretary in-charge of Goa challenged the BJP to ‘go ahead’ and form the government in the state if they had the numbers.
Taunting the BJP, Singh said, “Go ahead if you have support of more than 21 MLAs. We are ready to sit in opposition but what BJP is attempting is nothing but a coup against people’s mandate. Is this a party of morals? They’ve been defeated and yet it is indulging in horse-trading by promising ministries like distributing sweets.”
“We are in touch with non-BJP MLAs, we are confident we have have number on our side,” Singh was quoted by news agency ANI.
Both Congress and Goa Forward had unsuccessfully attempted to stitch an alliance before the assembly polls. Both had fought civic body polls together in Margao and Fatorda and inflicted heavy defeat to BJP in both the municipal corporations.