Manohar Parrikar's death throws precariously-stacked Goa Assembly into disarray; Congress on top with 14 MLAs

The Congress is currently the single-largest party in the Goa Assembly with 14 MLAs in the 40-member House

FP Staff March 18, 2019 13:35:51 IST
Manohar Parrikar's death throws precariously-stacked Goa Assembly into disarray; Congress on top with 14 MLAs
  • The death of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has thrown the carefully formed state government into disarray over the looming question facing the BJP-led alliance: Who will be next chief minister?

  • The situation is further complicated by the Congress' claim to form the government — a demand that has gotten louder since Parrikar's demise on Sunday evening

  • The Congress is currently the single-largest party in the state with 14 MLAs in the 40-member House

The death of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has thrown the carefully-formed state government into disarray over the looming question facing the BJP-led alliance: Who will be the next chief minister? The situation is further complicated by the Congress' claim to form the government — a demand that has gotten louder since Parrikar's demise on Sunday evening.

The precariously stacked BJP coalition government in Goa faced the third loss after MLA Francis D'souza's death in February.  The Congress on Saturday had staked a claim to form the government in Goa claiming that the Manohar Parrikar dispensation had lost its majority in the Assembly following D'Souza's demise.

Manohar Parrikars death throws precariouslystacked Goa Assembly into disarray Congress on top with 14 MLAs

File image of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

In a letter to Goa governor Mridula Sinha, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar asked for the party to be able to form the government and demanded the dismissal of the government.

As Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari holds talks with allies to come to a consensus on the appointment of a chief minister on Monday, the ruling dispensation also needs to be mindful of the way the numbers are currently stacked in the Goa Assembly:

The strength of the Goa Assembly is 40. Before Parrikar's death, three seats were vacant after the death of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza and resignation of two Congress MLAs — Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte. Now, the strength is now reduced to 36.

However, the Congress is currently the single-largest party in the state with 14 MLAs in the 40-member House. The BJP has 12 legislators and its government is supported by three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtra Gomantak Party, and three Independents. There is also an NCP MLA in the assembly. All the alliance partners had been clear for long that they would support only a government led by Parrikar.

In a boost to Congress, one of the BJP's MLA Pandurang Madkaikar is in the hospital and is unlikely to be able to come to the Assembly for a possible vote. This is the reason the Congress has been saying it has 14 MLAs to the BJP’s 11. Another BJP MLA, Speaker Sawant, has only a casting vote. Goa Forward Party chief and state minister Vijai Sardesai on Sunday night said his party had not supported the BJP but only Parrikar.

The Election Commission of India, while announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha election on 10 March, had also announced by-election dates for the three vacant seats in the Goa Assembly. The bypolls in the Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa seats will be held on 23 April, along with the Lok Sabha polls, reports said.

With inputs from agencies

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