The Congress’ Goa unit on Monday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind to warn against the dissolution of the state Assembly by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar through “foul play”, ANI reported. The party told Kovind in a letter that it was willing to prove its strength “at any given time” and form the government.
Citing Parrikar’s ill health, the letter by Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state had lost the confidence and the majority of the House. “The Congress, which is still the single largest party with 16 MLAs in the House, is having numbers on its side,” said Chodankar.
The party urged Kovind to direct Governor Mridula Sinha to ensure that the state Assembly is not dissolved through a “Constitutional over-reach”. “We are staking claim to form the government and there should be no decision to dissolve the House without exploring the option of inviting our party to form the government,” said the letter.
Dissolution of the Assembly would mean that the state would need to go to polls.
Chodankar said the Goa Congress had sought similar directions from Sinha in the past. Last month, the state Congress met the governor and asked her to direct the BJP-led government to prove its majority in a floor test in the Assembly. The party also requested the governor to not allow the Assembly to be dissolved.
Parrikar, who was undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, was discharged on Sunday and returned to Goa. He has been suffering from the ailment since February, and was admitted to AIIMS on September 15.
While Chodankar maintained that the Parrikar-led government had lost its mandate, the state BJP on Monday said that the chief minister would complete his tenure, ANI reported. “The chief minister is better now and the rumours that are being spread that he will resign from his post are false,” said Goa BJP President Vijay Tendulkar. “The coalition government has been formed for five years and the chief minister will complete his tenure.”
Rupesh Kamat, his personal secretary, said his condition had improved further and he is speaking with his family members, PTI reported. “Doctors have advised him to take rest for a week,” said Kamat.
A team of doctors from the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital have set up a temporary medical facility at Parrikar’s private residence and will constantly monitor him. Parrikar will take rest for two days before meeting party office-bearers and government officials, said Tendulkar.
Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai rejected the possibility of mid-term polls. “With or without Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister, this government should continue,” he said.
In the 40-member state Assembly, the Parrikar government has the support of 14 BJP MLAs, three each from the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, and three Independents.
The BJP had promised its alliance partners that the Parrikar-led government would continue for five years, said Sardesai. “In the wake of our commitment to this government, the onus is on the BJP high command to fulfil their commitment and see that the government completes its tenure,” he said.