Parrikar takes oath; floor test tomorrow

Parrikar takes oath; floor test tomorrow

Biren Singh to take oath as chief minister today

Parrikar takes oath; floor test tomorrow

A day after he resigned as defence minister, BJP leader Manohar Parrikar was sworn in as chief minister of Goa for the fourth time, even as the Congress accused him of hijacking an anti-BJP mandate in the February 4 Assembly poll.

Parrikar, who was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha, also inducted nine ministers into his Cabinet. He, however, will have to prove his majority on the floor of the legislative Assembly on Thursday as directed by the Supreme Court. Governor Sinha had earlier given Parrikar 15 days  for the floor test.

The apex court passed the order after hearing a petition filed late on Monday by the Congress, which had emerged the single largest party winning 17 seats in the 40-member Assembly.

Speaking to reporters after being sworn in, Parrikar said: “This government will last 24x7 for 365 days.”

He said he was ready to face a floor test as directed by the apex court on Tuesday.
The newly inducted ministers are Sudin Dhavalikar and Manohar Azgaonkar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaonkar of the Goa Forward party, Francis D’Souza, Pandurang Madkaikar of the BJP and independent legislators Govind Gawde and Rohan Khaunte.

Parrikar said the Congress did not have the numbers to form the government and the alliance partners approached the BJP and him to form a government for the development of Goa. “After the alliance, our poll vote share is more than 50%,” Parrikar said, while conceding that the mandate given to the BJP in the polls was not sufficient.  The day was marked by quick political developments, which ended with Parrikar being sworn in at Raj Bhavan in the presence of BJP national president Amit Shah and Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, M Venkaiah Naidu and J P Nadda.

In Delhi, another chapter of political drama was playing out. Hearing a petition filed by Congress Legislative Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar, who alleged that the Governor was partial to the BJP in inviting Parrikar to form government though the Congress was the single largest party, the apex court directed that a floor test be held on Thursday.
The court, however, chose not to interfere with the Governor’s order inviting Parrikar to form government.

Even before the court heard the matter, the Congress legislature party met in Panaji and later met Sinha, demanding that they be invited to form government. “We have been elected single largest party. We should have been asked to prove majority first. We requested the governor to give us a chance to prove majority,” Kavlekar told reporters.