The Congress once again staked claim to form the government in Goa on Saturday, ANI reported. In a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, the party urged her to dismiss the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, saying it is a “minority” government and its numbers “may further dwindle”, according to The Indian Express.
The Opposition party said any attempt to “bring the state under President’s Rule will be undemocratic, and illegal and will be challenged, as deemed fit”.
The Congress, with 14 MLAs, is the single-largest party in the state Assembly, which has 37 members and three vacancies at present. The BJP has 13 seats, while its allies Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have three seats each. The Nationalist Congress Party has one seat, while there are three independent legislators who support the BJP-led coalition.
The Congress has been demanding the dismissal of the BJP government since last year, when it was made public that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
In September, the party had asked Sinha to direct the government to prove its majority in a floor test in the Assembly in the absence of Parrikar and several other ministers. The Congress had 16 legislators at the time, but the following month, two of them resigned and joined the BJP, giving the ruling party some breathing space in the coastal state. This also ensured that the Congress was no longer the single-largest party in the Assembly. However, with the death of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza, the Congress once again holds a slight edge.
“Goa governor has killed spirit of Constitution, she can change her mistake by inviting Congress Party and give them chance to govern state as Congress is single-largest party,” Prudent Media quoted Congress leader Trajano D’Mello as saying.
Earlier in the day, the Goa Chief Minister’s Office refuted some media reports regarding Parrikar’s health and said he was still in a stable condition. Party Organisation Secretary Satish Dhond has reportedly met Mridula Sinha. At the moment, BJP MLAs are meeting at the party headquarters in Panaji.
“I don’t know the agenda of this meeting,” BJP MLA Glen Ticlo told The Indian Express before going in for the meeting. “We were called urgently and I am here. What is the emergency of this meeting I don’t know. I checked on health of CM and was told he is stable.”
Meanwhile, three legislators of the Goa Forward Party and the three independent MLAs are at Parrikar’s residence to meet him, Herald Goa reported.