Congress cries foul as Goa slips out, Manohar Parrikar invited to form BJP-led coalition govt

The party, which won 13 seats in the Goa Assembly, pipped the Congress to the post by submitting a list of 21 MLAs and staking claim to form the government.

Written by Smita Nair | Panaji | Updated: March 13, 2017 12:32 pm
Goa, goa assembly elections, goa assembly elections 2017, Manohar Parrikar, goa Manohar Parrikar, Congress goa, india news Parrikar, BJP leaders claim support of 21. Nirmal Harindran

Late on Sunday, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha invited the BJP, led by Manohar Parrikar, to form the next government, capping several hours of hectic negotiations in the BJP camp. The party, which won 13 seats in the Goa Assembly, pipped the Congress to the post by submitting a list of 21 MLAs and staking claim to form the government.

While the Congress, which is the single largest party with 17 seats, continued to hold meetings with AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh until 5 pm to decide on their leader, the BJP camp had already made that decision — that Parrikar would be their legislature party leader — by 5 am on Sunday. At 7 pm, Parrikar, left for Raj Bhavan with 21 MLAs — 13 of its own, three of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), three of the Goa Forward and two Independents — and submitted their letters of support to the Governor. NCP’s Churchill Alemao was also among those present though his signed letter of support was yet to reach the party until late Sunday.

The Congress cried foul, accusing the BJP of “murdering” democracy in Goa and calling Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar the “villain behind what has transpired”. “Governor Mridula Sinha has appointed Manohar Parrikar, the leader of the Goa BJP legislature party, as the chief minister of Goa,” Rupesh Kumar Thakur, secretary to the Governor, said in a press note issued on Sunday night.

Through Saturday night and early Sunday morning, senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari held meetings with non-BJP parties at Hotel Taj Vivanta. On Sunday, addressing the media outside the beachside resort of Cidade De Goa, where Gadkari later shifted, MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar said, “The Congress has not approached us so far. We waited to hear from them. We are now looking to support BJP, provided Manohar Parrikar is made Chief Minister.”
After the MLAs returned from Raj Bhavan, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari held a press conference, where he said Parrikar, who is now Defence Minister, will tender his resignation from the Union Cabinet after the date of swearing-in is decided.

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Parrikar too spoke, thanking Gadkari for “coming down to Goa at such short notice as party observer” and “solving the matter within 16 hours – that itself is a record as it includes the night hours”. The BJP camp had swung into action soon after the poll results, with outgoing chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar tendering his resignation at 5.15 pm Saturday. Soon after, all the leaders locked themselves at the BJP headquarters. While Parrikar initially held meetings at the headquarters, soon, arrangements were made to shift the “entire apparatus” to Taj Vivanta.

“It was that simple. No one slept,” says a BJP leader privy to the meetings. Phone chargers were brought in, phones were worked, food was left stale on the tables, and a string of meetings were held in two hotel rooms at Taj Vivanta. First, calls were made to all BJP MLAs, assuring them that all efforts were on to form the government. With Nitin Gadkari expected to reach post midnight, the first task was to reach out to the MGP, Goa Forward, NCP’s Churchill Alemao and the three Independents. “We had to do that before Gadkari’s phone landed in Goa’s tarmac,” said a BJP member, who says he shuttled thrice between the BJP headquarters and the hotel on several errands.

Nitin Gadkari finally walked into Taj Vivanta at 1.30 am – with a straight face. “If he had any doubts, he didn’t show,” said a BJP party official. The first person they won over was Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward. By 4 am, NCP’s Alemao had also expressed his consent.

Everyone left the hotel at 5 am – after the negotiations were final. The day then saw hectic work at the BJP office with “letter drafts” going “back and forth”. The day also saw all the losing candidates, including Parsekar and six ministers, walking into the BJP office.

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Meanwhile at the Congress office, Digvijay Singh told the press at noon that the phone calls from their end are still alive though “nothing has been offered, We don’t do horse trading.” The BJP party waited for the letters to reach – with the BJP spokesperson confirming that while Sardesai of Goa Forward and Dhavalikar of MGP had given theirs, it took some time for Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte’s to arrive. The third Independent they tried to reach could not be contacted as he was allegedly being held “at the house of a winning Congress candidate’s son.”

With Khaunte’s letter finally arriving, the party called all the MLAs to Cidade De Goa, where Gadkari had shifted by then. In a show of support and strength, the MLAs came in separate vehicles at the same time – at 6:45 – and walked straight to Gadkari’s room. They then left with Parrikar for Raj Bhavan.

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First Published on: March 13, 2017 5:22 am
  1. K
    Karma
    Mar 13, 2017 at 1:03 am
    Any election majority of the party can show it strength and the 2nd person BJP needs to respect that. why did they horse trade and jump the gun. now congress will come back in both states.
    Reply
    1. C
      Chopra TP
      Mar 13, 2017 at 6:36 am
      BJP won 32% vote share in Goa while congress only won 28%. In Manipur BJP- 36% and Congress-35%. How is that a mandate for Congress govt? Plus the other parties have been BJP allies previously and some still are at center. Congress just won more seats because BJP allies also contested separately. Majority of people in both states still voted for BJP. And now the majority of elected MLAs are also in alliance with the BJP. So shut up Chiddu.
      Reply
      1. I
        IslamForFoools
        Mar 13, 2017 at 2:17 pm
        Thank you rahul hi, long live rahul hi. Thank you Rajiv hi for producing brainless child with Sonia miano
        Reply
        1. I
          Its.the.agencies
          Mar 13, 2017 at 2:27 am
          Both BJP and Congr has their retired IB thugs as consultants. Their job is to dig i to the IB database on what those potential MLAs have done and coerce them to join either of the parties!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;OLE DEMOCRACY IS INDIA's DEMOCRACY!
          Reply
          1. N
            Nh
            Mar 13, 2017 at 3:01 am
            Day murder of democracy
            Reply
            1. J
              John
              Mar 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm
              Mr. Manohar parrikar is not the elected representative of the people of Goa, he was the defense minister of India representing Uttar Pradesh until yesterday, let's wait an see what happens next.
              Reply
              1. J
                John
                Mar 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm
                You believe it or not this government will fall very soon, the for tat game will keep on going. You have no experience of Goan politics. A party with just 13 legislators in the house of 40 will never last for long.
                Reply
                1. J
                  John
                  Mar 14, 2017 at 11:37 am
                  Democracy is at stake in this tiny land GOA.
                  Reply
                  1. J
                    JN
                    Mar 13, 2017 at 1:23 am
                    BJP had greater vote share. If this is true democracy, then majority of the people want them.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Raman Ravi
                      Mar 13, 2017 at 3:43 am
                      Raffle aircraft deal parikarr made money and now he has been shunted to a insignifant sidey post. Raffle e aircraft deal will be a bigger scam than Bofors deal in future.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Michellegt;Vedicgt;human
                        Mar 13, 2017 at 4:10 am
                        I don't see any thing wrong in this,-----SP-CONGIES were even prepared to join hands with BSP if they had to in UP but after seeing results couldn't do much and backed off,---with MLA's taking charge and supported by other parties to join which ever party with numbers is legal,----after all manohar PARRIKAR has got the mandate with gr root people of Goa,----Jai hind.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Rms Rms
                          Mar 13, 2017 at 12:49 am
                          The term democracy is not applicable in our country it should be changed to sell yourself to the highest bidder. There is no shred of decency left in the system.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Amit
                            Mar 13, 2017 at 1:05 pm
                            Bad days for Congress after free loot of 70 years.Time to harvest what they sowed.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              ABC
                              Mar 13, 2017 at 11:36 am
                              jis ki lathi uski bhains.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Aditya
                                Mar 13, 2017 at 3:51 am
                                What is there to cry foul. This is precisely what SP-Cong were planning to do to BJP after many exit polls showed a hung house in UP with BJP emerging as single largest party.
                                Reply
                                1. H
                                  Homer
                                  Mar 13, 2017 at 2:39 am
                                  Any party that can prove it has the numbers is enled to form the government. While the party with the most seats was waiting for HIGH COMMAND to return from America with instructions. BJP A Democratic Party decided writhing hours and presented proof of a majority! THATS DEMOCRACY!
                                  Reply
                                  1. H
                                    Homer
                                    Mar 13, 2017 at 2:49 am
                                    Any party that can prove majority has the RIGHT to form the government. I guess with congi HIGH COMMAND in America and perhaps BANGKOK it's servant couldn't BUY seats the way it has always done and BJP formed a coalition and took decisive steps and took quick decisions by accepting the demand for Parrikar as CM! Diggy had to wait for his queen to approve the amount of dollars to pay for support!
                                    Reply
                                    1. H
                                      Homer
                                      Mar 13, 2017 at 2:20 am
                                      Foul! Ha ha ha! Foul is the party of the chalu cha cha that ruined India from the minute the playboy was made PM. Foul is a party filled with crooks sycophants muslin league franchisees foreign agents and traitors. JAI MODI KI. JAI BHARAT KI!
                                      Reply
                                      1. H
                                        Homer
                                        Mar 13, 2017 at 2:28 am
                                        Ha ha ha! Unholy foreigner led SERIAL MURDERS pointing fingures and accusing those who believe in AHIMSA to be murderers! Ha ha ha!
                                        Reply
                                        1. H
                                          Homer
                                          Mar 13, 2017 at 2:50 am
                                          So why have you sold your vote to crooks for 70 years?
                                          Reply
                                          1. H
                                            Homer
                                            Mar 13, 2017 at 2:25 am
                                            While diggy was busy wiping pappu's behind. BJP who are a Democratic Party made quick decisions and formed the coalition not needing A HIGH COMMAND sitting in USA and A CLOWN PRINCE probably drugged out in BANGKOK, to approve every DOLLAR to be offered to buy seats!
                                            Reply
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