The Goa Congress, along with 14 of its MLAs, staked claim to form the government in the state on Monday, as reports emerged that there are differences between the BJP and its alliance partners over whether an ailing Manohar Parrikar should retain the chief minister's post.
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar visited Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha's office signed by all 16 Congress MLAs, demanding that she should not dissolve the Assembly and pave way for a fresh election. Sinha is currently not in the state and is expected to return to Goa on Tuesday.
Kavlekar told ANI that the party has submitted two memorandums and said there shouldn't be a need for elections again in 18 months, as people had elected the government for five years. He added that if the present government is not capable of functioning, then Congress should be given a chance.
He also criticised the functioning of the current government and said that "it is as good as having no government". He further asserted that Congress has the numbers, so it will stake claim and will approach the governor on Tuesday.
"We have also asked her not to impose President's Rule or keep the House in suspended animation," Kavlekar was quoted as saying by IANS.
In a formal demand to Sinha, Kavlekar has said: "That any recommendation for dissolution of the Goa Assembly ought not to be accepted... That the Congress being the single largest party, ought to be invited to form the government."
Kavlekar said he feared that a false letter or statement may be submitted to the governor claiming the Congress recommended dissolution of the state Assembly.
"We also apprehended that false letters or statements may be placed attributed to Leaders of the INC (Indian National Congress), claiming there is a desire on the part of the INC to accept recommendation for dissolution of the Goa Legislative Assembly. This is not true and should not be accepted without adverting to a floor test," the letter said.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday held a meeting after which senior party leader Ram Lal asserted that the Goa government is stable and no demand has been made for change in leadership. The meeting was called in the presence of BJP central observers.
The BJP currently has 14 legislators in the 40-member Assembly, while the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have three each. The BJP is also supported by three Independents. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one legislator.
Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment. The health condition of two other BJP leaders has also contributed to the crisis-like political situation in state. While Urban Development Minister Francis D'Souza is currently taking treatment for cancer in New York, Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar, who suffered from a brainstroke some months back, is bed-ridden at his private residence near Panaji.
With inputs form PTI.
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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2018 08:09:18 IST