Despite emerging as the second largest party behind Congress in a fractured mandate, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday pulled off a coup and staked claim to form the next government under the leadership of former chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Enlisting the support of two independents, three members each of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and that of the lone NCP member, the BJP members led by the defence minister called upon Governor Mridula Sinha in evening and formally staked the government formation claim.
Meanwhile, the Congress leadership will also go into a huddle and adopt a strategy on how to deal with the hurdles arising in Manipur and Goa.
11.30 pm: Meanwhile in Manipur, Ibobi Singh staked claim to be chief minister earlier today
11.10 pm: AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said “It is absolutely wrong on the part of the BJP to grab power when the mandate was given to the Congress by the voters (by virtue of being the single largest party)”. Being the single largest party, the Congress had the “first right as well as the popular mandate” to form government, which has been “hijacked by Parrikar” Singh said, “Parrikar has brought down the morality of politics in the country. His act of indulging in horse-trading has affected the morale of Goan politicians.”
11.00 pm: Here is the press release:
10.52 pm: Governor Mridula Sinha appoints Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister of Goa
09.10 pm: Disgreeing with Vijay Sardesai’s decision, Goa Forward President Prabhakar Timble resigns.
08.55 pm: National media photographers and local media photographers started fighting in the Hotel conference hall. The press conference was canned midway and Nitin Gadkari pulled out anticipating a stampede.
08.29 pm: We met the Governor, expecting an invitation.Once we receive it,we will consult our colleagues and decide the date for swearing in, says Manohar Parrikar
08. 28 pm: This is a mandate given by the people, though we fell short of majority. Together we have completed the magic figure of 21: Manohar Parrikar
This is a mandate given by the people, though we fell short of majority. Together we have completed the magic figure of 21: Manohar Parrikar pic.twitter.com/2dIy4ANPng
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 12, 2017
08.20 pm: “Thank you all for support. And wish you all a Happy Holi. I would want to thank Nitin Gadkari to come down. In 16 hours we managed this. That itself is a feat,” says Manohar Parrikar.
08.15 pm: According To PTI reports, “Manohar Parrikar to resign as Defence Minister before taking oath as Chief Minister of Goa,”says Nitin Gadkari.
08. 12pm: MGP,GFP said during our discussions that if Manohar Parrikar becomes Goa CM candidate, then we will support: Nitin Gadkari
MGP,GFP said during our discussions that if Manohar Parrikar becomes Goa CM candidate, then we will support: Nitin Gadkari pic.twitter.com/W48PdY9LZh
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 12, 2017
08.11 pm: According to the Indian constitution, Parrikar will have to resign as defence minister. It will be done only after the oath and swearing in date is decided. In Goa, he has worked for the development of the state: Amit Shah
08. 10 pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to hold a press conference in Goa shortly.
08.06 pm: “Parrikar said if Goa wants me, I am ready to leave Defence Ministry. I am happy regional parties have supported us,” said Amit Shah.
08.05 pm: The state of Goa wants Parrikar. If parliament board agrees then Amit Shah said it’s a yes from us too
08. 02 pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar rejects all media reports about his resignation, says ANI ,”I have not resigned yet.”
07. 52 pm: We have decided to support BJP to form the Govt under leadership of Manohar Parrikar. We will evolve a Common Minimum programme within one month of formation of Government: Vijay Sardesai, Goa Forward Party according to ANI reports.
07.50 pm: Manohar Parrikar with BJP MLAs, 3 MGP MLAs,3 Goa Forward Party MLAs and 3 other Independent MLAs met Goa Governor and staked claim to form government.
07. 17 pm: BJP members leave for Raj Bhavan right now to stake claim.
07. 12 pm: BJP to show strength as members leave for Goa Governor’s office.
07.09 pm: BJP to stake claim to form Govt today by 7.30 pm, joint presser by 8 pm, BJP & MGP camp together, BJP claims support of ‘non-Cong’ groups, according to Prudent Media reports.
BJP to stake claim to form Govt today by 7.30 pm, joint presser by 8 pm, BJP & MGP camp together, BJP claims support of ‘non-Cong’ groups
— Prudent Media (@prudentgoa) March 12, 2017
07. 06 pm: Sudin Dhavalikar of MGP offers support to BJP govt in Parrikar is CM
06. 45 pm: National Peoples’ Party leaders meet BJP leaders in Manipur.
06.29 pm: In Congress Digvijaya Singh is still adamant, says we will first speak to our candidates. Wait to hear support on everyone’s terms.
06. 25 pm: Nitin Gadkari and Manohar Parrikar leaving for BJP office.
06. 23 pm: “CLP leader will be decided in two hours time,” says Digvijay Singh according to Herald Goa report.
06. 15 pm: “We have support of all 3 independents and NCP; let BJP prove claims,” Digvijay Singh was quoted as saying by Herald Goa.
05. 58 pm: “Amit Shah has given green signal for Parrikar appointment as Goa CM,” BJP leader Shripad Naik was quoted as saying by Herald Goa.
05. 20 pm: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to meet GFP leader Vijai Sardesai and Independent candidate Govind Gaude in Goa within sometime.
05. 05 pm: According to PTI reports, with Congress emerging as single largest party in Goa, party leader Digvijaya Singh says Goans have given us last chance to perform or perish.
05.00 pm: BJP parliamentary board meeting scheduled at 6pm, is expected to take a decision on Manohar Parrikar as Goa CM.
04. 40 pm: Meeting of Congress MLAs begins to discuss the head of the legislature; meeting headed by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Panaji, Goa.
4: 30 pm: “We will support BJP on the condition that Manohar Parrikar is declared the CM candidate of Goa,” MGP President Deepak Dhavlikar was quoted as saying by ANI.
4: 10 pm: BJP has sought an appointment with Governor at 5 pm. “We are waiting for the final two letters. We are meeting the Governor today.”
3.00 pm: BJP MLAs are likely to be flown to Delhi later today in the evening. The BJP state unit are seeking an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We are waiting for the prime minister to give us time by evening. We are taking all the MLAs with us to meet him. We are looking at an appointment for around 8 pm,” a BJP leader said.
2.45 pm: It appears the scales have now titled in BJP’s favour in Goa. The party claims it now has the support of Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party and from MGP too. “We have got a letter of acceptance from Vijai Sardesai. MGP too has given their approval. We are now waiting for the two independents to give us letter. We have got a confirmation for 22 for now,” a BJP official told The Indian Express.
2.00 pm: In Manipur, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was unanimously reelected as the chief of Congress Legislative Party. Party spokesperson Debabrata says the Congress is firming up its numbers and it will stake claim very soon . The Congress has invited all non-BJP and non-NPF Mlas to join the government, he added.
1.50 pm: Digvijaya Singh says Congress ready to sit in Opposition if required. “We are willing to sit in the opposition if needed. For now till five pm we will be taking meetings with each winning candidate and then decide our leader after a consensus has been arrived,” he said.
1.40 pm: The CLP meeting has ended. Congress state in-charge Digvijaya Singh says the party will meet the Governor only after picking a chief ministerial candidate. “We will go to governor with a letter only after we have decided our leader. We are in touch with all non BJP candidates. We do not do horsetrading. We will talk to people and take everyone’s consensus on choice of the leader.”
On the BJP making attempts to stake claim to form government, he said: “I hear news that BJP is hiring a flight to take MLAs to Delhi. They are promising them with land, SUVs and contracts. This is against the mandate of the people.”
Digvijaya also attacked Union Minister Manohar Parrikar, calling him “power hungry”. “If Manohar is being asked by MLAs to return as their leader, it’s purely under his dabbav (pressure). I want to ask: is there a constitution or manohar’s constitution? Never seen anyone hungry for such power.”
1.10 pm: Speaking with news agency ANI, BJP’s Michael Lobo said that the party’s legislature wing has decided to nominate Union Minister Manohar Parrikar as the CM candidate in Goa.
12.30 pm: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is in Goa to assess the situation. He is currently chairing a meeting with the state leaders. Sources in the party told The Indian Express that efforts to form government in Goa are in full swing. They added that “all efforts in place” to reach Governor Office with support required.
12.20 pm: Girish Chodankar, AICC secretary and Goa Spokesperson: “Mandate is clear. It’s against the BJP. Goans have reduced BJP from 21 to 13. Their CM has been brought down by a record margin. Their ministers are out. It’s Goa sending a message.”
12.15 pm: Meanwhile in Goa, the Congress Legislative Party meeting is in progress. State in-charge Digvijaya Singh says they have formally approached other candidates seeking support. “As a single largest party its our duty to hold talks with everyone. Right now no one has said no to us,” he said.
12.00 pm: Captain Amarinder Singh credited Congress’ success in Punjab polls to party workers and poll strategist Prashant Kishore. He told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured him support on the financial front. He also said his government will tackle the drug problem ailing the state. On the Sutlej issue, he said Haryana has been receiving a disproportionate share of the waters. When asked whether Navjot Singh Sidhu will be inducted into his cabinet, he said party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will take a call on the issue.
11.50 am: Captain Amarinder Singh is addressing a press conference after chair a Congress Legislative Party meeting in Patiala. He will be meeting the Punjab Governor today evening around 4 pm. Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has met the Governor and handed over his resignation.
11.30 am: BJP leader Dayashankar Singh’s expulsion was revoked by the state leadership after the party swept to power in Uttar Pradesh. He was expelled for his derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati at a party event last year. His comments caused a furore in the Parliament, with leaders cutting across party lines condemning it. The BJP also stayed away from Dayashankar’s remarks and expelled him from the party. His wife Swati Singh, however, was given the party ticket to contest in the UP elections. She was declared as the winner in Sarojini Nagar constituency.