BJP to form govt in Goa with Parrikar as CM

Guv asks him to prove majority within 15 days
Last Updated 12 March 2017, 20:02 IST

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday staked claim to form the government in Goa, saying he had the support of eight MLAs in addition to the 13 BJP MLAs.
He also said that more MLAs may join the coalition soon.

In a late-night development, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha appointed Parrikar as the chief minister, and asked him to prove majority within 15 days after taking oath, reports PTI.
Parrikar will now resign from his post as defence minister.

According to government sources, the swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held on Tuesday.

Sunday turned out to be a day packed with hectic negotiations for the BJP as well as the Congress, the single largest party, both of whom lobbied hard to get the support of regional parties as well as Independent candidates to get the required numbers to form the government.

But eventually, it was the BJP that managed to shepherd the additional MLAs — three each from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Forward and two Independent legislators — before meeting Mridula at the Raj Bhavan with the legislators in tow and their letters of support.

The former Goa chief minister was elevated to the central cabinet as defence minister in November 2014.

Magic number of 21
Earlier, addressing a press conference here, Parrikar said that while the mandate for the BJP in the February 4 elections was not sufficient, the party could make the magic number of 21 with the support of the additional MLAs.

“This was a mandate given by the people. We fell short of a majority, but with this support, we could complete the figure of 21,” Parrikar said.

“We met the governor and we are expecting an invitation (to form the government) from her. Once the invitation is received, we will consult colleagues and finalise a date for the swearing-in,” Parrikar said.

Goa Forward’s Vijay Sardesai said that despite opposition to the BJP in the run-up to the elections, he was convinced that the BJP would form a development-oriented government in Goa, and Parrikar would be the best choice for chief ministership.

“We have decided to support the BJP for formation of the government,” Sardesai said, even as Goa Forward president Prabhakar Timble resigned from the post, claiming he was “not consulted over the decision of the legislative unit aligning with the BJP”.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was mandated by the BJP parliamentary board to oversee the government formation efforts, said the BJP would provide a stable government in Goa.

“We will form a stable government under Manohar Parrikar. Our party president, Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated supporting parties,” said the minister for road transport and highways, and shipping.

He also said that discussions with the leaders of both the allying parties as well as Independent legislators raged for several hours and all differences were sorted out.
“We wanted to clear issues for long term. All should work together,” Gadkari said, adding that a common minimum programme would be formed for the smooth functioning of the government. 

(Published 12 March 2017, 20:02 IST)

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