After a poor showing in the recently-concluded Goa Assembly polls, the BJP seems to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The main architect of this coup, BJP’s Manohar Parrikar, will take oath as Goa Chief Minister for the fourth time in his career. A floor test has been ordered for Thursday and for now, it seems Parrikar has pulled the rug from under the Congress’ feet.
On Tuesday, a wounded Congress moved the Supreme Court, asking it to stay Parrikar’s swearing in as CM. The apex court rejected the Congress’ plea and refused to stay the swearing in. It also ordered that a floor test be conducted on March 16, Thursday.
When election results started coming in on Saturday, it became clear that the BJP had lost its hard-won majority in the 40-member Goa state Assembly. The Congress, with 17 MLAs, was tantalisingly close to the magic number of 21. BJP with 13 elected members was in second position, losing six out of eight sitting ministers, including Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
That was when the BJP looked towards its tallest leader and troubleshooter in Goa. Parrikar swept in after the poll results, and soon, support started pouring in for the BJP. The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) with three MLAs each threw their lot in behind the BJP.
MGP leader Sudhin Dhavlikar went on to say the support to the BJP was for the “development of Goa”. Soon, the party top command gave the nod for Parrikar becoming CM again and he proceeded to meet the Governor in Panaji.
The Congress, in addition to its 17 MLAs, has the support of one Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA and one independent. This puts the Congress at 19, two short of a majority in the Goa Assembly. The BJP, on the other hand, claims that it has crossed the halfway mark. BJP claimed the support of three MLAs of the MGP, three of the GFP and two independents. The MGP and the GFP have offered support to the BJP on the condition that Parrikar be made CM. If the BJP’s claims prove true, it will put the BJP at 21 MLAs, just enough to form government. Parrikar just has to keep his flock together till Thursday.