Manohar Parrikar on Monday resigned as the defence minister, a position he has held since November 2014, reported ANI. Parrikar has the support of 21 MLAs in the 40-member Assembly, and will take the oath at 5 pm on Tuesday. He has to prove his majority in a floor test within 15 days of assuming office.
Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday “apologised” to the people of Goa for failing to “muster the support to form government”. “Money power has won over people’s power,” he said on Twitter. “But our struggle against communal forces and money power politics in Goa shall continue.”
Singh’s statement came a day after Goa Governor Mridula Sinha appointed Manohar Parrikar the chief minister, after he staked claim to form government. The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday had earlier requested its parliamentary committee to relieve Parrikar of the defence portfolio so he could return to Goa.
After news of Parrikar’s return to Goa broke, Singh expressed his sympathies for the minister, seemingly for his apparent demotion from the defence portfolio, but gave him “credit for his never-say-die spirit”. Singh had also pointed out that seven of the BJP’s 13 MLAs are Roman Catholic. He told Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Twitter that his outlook would now need to be “pro-Christian”.
The Congress had been trying to seek the support of “all non-BJP MLAs without compromising on core promises” the party made in its manifesto.
The BJP won 13 of the state’s 40 Goa Assembly seats, while the Congress won 17. But the BJP can now form government as it has the support of three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs), three Goa Forward Party MLA and two Independent legislators.