May 8, 2017 8:07:22 pm
The opposition Congress in Goa on Sunday said it would be in the position to install the party government in the state, currently ruled by the BJP-led coalition, as it is confident of winning upcoming bypolls in two Assembly constituencies. “Congress will form government in Goa after winning both the seats during upcoming by-elections,” Congress party in-charge for Goa A Chellakumar told PTI. He said though the voters outrightly rejected the BJP during the assembly polls held in February, the saffron party managed to form the government with the help of the “vested interests”. “The results which were seen during the assembly polls would be replicated during upcoming by-polls, which would improve the tally of the Congress legislators in the House,” the Congress leader said. He said after winning the bypolls, the Congress’ strength would increase.
“We will have 18 legislators in the House (from current 16). We will form the government with the support of other parties or Independents,” Chellakumar said. While byelection in Valpoi constituency is necessitated due to resignation by a Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane, who joined the BJP after abstaining from voting for the Congress during a crucial floor test held by the Manohar Parrikar-led government in March. Rane is currently a minister in the state Cabinet. Another bypoll is due as one of the BJP legislators will have to vacate his seat to allow chief minister Manohar Parrikar to get elected to the state legislative assembly.
Parrikar, who resigned as defence minister in March, had to get elected to the House within six months of taking charge as the CM. Parrikar is likely to announce the name of the constituency of his choice on Tuesday. Chellakumar, who will meet his party leaders tomorrow, said that a strategy to be adopted for the upcoming bypolls would be discussed during the meeting. In 40-member Goa House, whose effective strength now stands at 39 due to resignation of Rane, the BJP has 13 members, Congress 16, the Goa Forward Party 3, the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party 3, Independents 3, and NCP 1. The BJP, which won 13 seats in the assembly elections in March against 17 won by the Congress, subsequently roped in the GFP, the MGP and all the three Independents to install the party government in the coastal state.
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