Parrikar government in minority, we can stake claim: Goa Congress

Panaji: A day after staking claim to form the new government in Goa, the opposition Congress on Tuesday said that it was right in doing so as the Manohar Parrikar-led coalition government was “already in a minority”.

“The BJP-led coalition government is in a minority. We have asked for an appointment with the Governor. We have the right to stake claim to form the government,” Goa Congress legislative party spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo told reporters here.

Goa Congress leaders are expected to meet Governor Mridula Sinha on Tuesday as she is scheduled to return to Goa from a two-day Delhi visit in the evening.

Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar on Monday visited the Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter signed by all 16 Congress MLAs to Sinha’s office and demanded that she should not dissolve the Assembly and thus pave the way for fresh elections.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, is admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi even as the BJP high command is trying to find an alternative in Parrikar’s absence. Some among the allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party are demanding a bigger role in government and even eyeing the Chief Minister’s chair.

The Congress is the single largest party in the 40-member Goa Assembly with 16 MLAs, while the BJP with 14 MLAs is supported by three members each of Goa Forward and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the lone Nationalist Congress Party legislator and three Independents.

What queers the pitch in the numbers game, however, is the health condition of three BJP MLAs — Parrikar and Urban Development Minister Francis D’Souza getting treatment for cancer and Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar who is bed-ridden after suffering a brainstroke some months back.