Panaji: The BJP-led government in Goa has landed in a crisis after the demise of former deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza on February 14. With the party’s tally in the state Legislative Assembly coming down to 13, opposition Congress on Saturday staked its claim to form the government. It has 14 MLAs in the House.
In a letter addressed to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said that the BJP-led coalition government is in a minority and its numbers may “dwindle”.
The Congress move came on a day when reports suggested that ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s health has further deteriorated.
Kavlekar demanded that the Governor dismiss the government and invite the Congress – the single-largest party in the state assembly – to form the government.
“Consequent upon the sad demise of Francis D’Souza, MLA, who belonged to the BJP, it is humbly submitted that the incumbent BJP-led state government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar, which has long lost the trust of the people and now also lost strength in the House,” Mr Kavlekar said in the letter.
“Also, we anticipate that numbers of the BJP may further dwindle,” he wrote to the Governor requesting that such minority government should not be allowed to continue.
Parrikar’s office had issued a statement during the day saying that the health of the Chief Minister, who is being treated at his private residence for advanced pancreatic cancer, is “stable”
News agency IANS, quoting sources had said that Parrikar’s blood pressure had dropped considerably on Saturday morning.
Speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity, a Congress legislator said that Parrikar is unable to move owing to his ill-health, and his inability to attend the Assembly session in case a no-confidence vote is facilitated by the Governor, would further deplete the House strength to 37.
While the Congress currently has 14 MLAs, down from 16 after MLAs defected to BJP, the latter has 13 MLAs.
Three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party, MGP, an Independent and the lone NCP legislator are supporting the BJP.