Goa floor test today, Congress hurls casino money charge at BJP

The BJP said it would not comment on the allegations as these were baseless.

By: Express News Service | Panaji | Updated: March 16, 2017 7:08 am
Parrikar leaves a hotel in Goa Wednesday. Nirmal Harindran

The Congress said the BJP had paid “casino money” to win over MLAs to its side, a stance that gave away the party’s helplessness while the ruling party prepared for a floor test on Thursday. Girish Chodonkar, the All India Congress Committee secretary, said: “More than Rs 1,000 crore they have used. Including the money from casinos. Because casino people were very much there in the Raj Bhavan for the last two days.” He added: “I will request Parrikar to reveal BJP leaders’ (names), especially Sadanand Tanawde who has been calling up Congress MLAs. Let Parrikar release (the names) if he has the courage.”

The BJP said it would not comment on the allegations as these were baseless. MLAs of the Congress, which could not form a government despite being the single largest party in Goa, met senior leader Digvijaya Singh, who was in charge of the state before and after the election. The BJP, on the other hand, showed its strength as new ministers visited the secretariat. Parrikar attended the day’s proceedings as he settled into the chief minister’s chair. The new ministers who took oath settled in soon. Newly inducted minister Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party, whose support the Congress was hoping to get, was at the secretariat meeting Parrikar till late evening.

“I have made him resign as the defence minister and return to Goa. I cannot back stab him. Its too late for any turns now,” Sardesai said, explaining his position. At the Speaker’s office, the new pro-tem speaker Siddharth Kuncalienkar, the MLA from Panjim was seen taking instructions from Assembly staff on the technology that would be used during the floor test on Thursday.

The floor test is expected to begin after 39 MLAs are administered the oath in the Assembly. The Congress wrote to the Governor saying Kuncalienkar cannot be appointed as the pro-tem speaker as he is not the senior most MLA and in the past he has served as joint secretary to Parrikar when he was the CM.

It’s murder of democracy: Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena slammed the BJP over the latter forming the government in Goa, calling it murder of democracy. “The ploy that was played in Goa can’t be termed anything but murder of democracy… We wish our democracy the strength to handle such happenings,” an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

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