The Congress demanded Saturday that Goa Governor Mridula Sinha summon a special session of the legislative assembly and ask the BJP-led coalition government to prove its majority.
The opposition party, which has been claiming that the state government is in disarray in the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from office, alleged that it “is a classic case of fraud being played on the people of Goa by the Governor and the BJP at the Centre”.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here that the party would raise this issue during the upcoming winter session of Parliament and also before President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Congress had submitted representations to the President and the Goa Governor, claiming that the party had the requisite number of MLAs to prove majority in the 40-member House.
“We will put pressure on the central leadership of the BJP in winter session and also before the President for our demand to summon a special session to prove majority,” he said.
Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa of holding the Constitution “captive”, Surjewala said the formation of the Cabinet Advisory Committee by the BJP in absence of Parrikar is a “blatant fraud on the Constitution”.
In the 40-member Goa Assembly, the Parrikar government has the support of 23 MLAs. These comprise 14 BJP MLAs, three each from the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as well as three Independents.
Surjewala said the coalition government should prove its majority and lay down a roadmap for governance and administration.
The government should also settle issues like Regional Plan, mining, unemployment, he demanded.
“This will clear all doubts about who is in-charge in Goa and the floor test will determine as to which party has the rightful claim to head a democratic government in people’s interest in Goa,” he added.
Surjewala questioned the effectiveness of state government in absence of Parrikar, who is currently recuperating at his residence here after undergoing treatment at AIIMS in Delhi.
Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had said that Parrikar was suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Surjewala alleged, “Constitution is being held captive because of the BJP’s lust for power. Formation of a Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) by the BJP is a blatant fraud on the Constitution itself.
“It negates the constitutionally conferred powers of the state cabinet under Articles 163, 164, 166.”
Surjewala alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were responsible for the “political and administration mess” in Goa by allowing an ailing Parrikar to continue in chair.
“Paralysed governance, crippled administration and collapse of authority has become symbolical of the chaos prevailing in the BJP government in Goa,” he claimed.
Wishing Parrikar speedy recovery, Surjewala recalled that party president Rahul Gandhi had inquired about the chief minister’s health last month.
“On account of incapacity of the CM owing to his illness, power brokers are running amok and are plundering the state’s resources and holding democracy to ransom,” he alleged.
Surjewala said that the BJP held a meeting of Cabinet ministers of Goa in AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Delhi on October 12, where Parrikar was undergoing treatment.
“This has never happened in the history of Goa. On October 31, 2018, the official Twitter handle of the Goa CM posted a picture of that Cabinet meeting,” he said.
“The people of Goa were deeply disturbed by the visual in that picture. It reflects that Parrikar needs emergent medical attention rather than the grand-standing by the BJP,” he said.
He said key governance issues were being dragged due to BJP’s “misgovernance” in Goa.
“The mess created by the BJP by stoppage of mining, closure of businesses of small traders and mismanagement of sand mining has affected the entire state,” he claimed.
The Congress had earlier questioned non-issuance of medical bulletins on health of Parrikar.
“If the CM is fine, as per the press statements, then why is he refusing to meet even the Leader of Opposition and MLAs and interact with them?” Surjewala asked.
Recently, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanad Sopte resigned as Congress MLAs and joined the BJP, bringing down the strength of the opposition party to 14 in Goa Assembly.
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