As BJP marched ahead in its bid to form government in Manipur and Goa, even after lagging behind Congress, the latter is now struggling to quell anger in the ranks within. Disappointment ran grave among the newly elected MLAs in Goa over party’s top leadership not moving swiftly enough to stake claim to form the government.
“I am very upset with the way our party leaders handled the situation after the (Goa Assembly poll) results, which gave us the first right — as the single largest party – to form the government. I feel let down at the functioning of the party leaders who could not take a decision at the right time,” MLA and prominent Congress leader Vishwajit Rane told the press on Monday.
Meanwhile, Congress party in-charge of Goa alleged that Goa Governor Mridula Sinha did not invite it to form government in the state despite the party giving her a letter on Sunday seeking appointment to stake the claim.
“We wanted to stake the claim on March 12 itself. We had given her the letter on that day itself but still she (Governor) did not give us an appointment,” AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh told reporters in Panaji after chairing a meeting of the Goa Congress Legislature Party.
“Despite established principle and constitution, the Governor did not call us to form government but gave a chance to the second largest party (BJP),” Singh added further.
Earlier, knives were out in the Congress with state leaders going on record saying that “gross mismanagement” by party leaders and the “delay” in choosing the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader had hurt them.
The Congress won 17 seats in Goa, only four short of the magic figure to form the government. Soon after the results threw up a hung assembly, Independent candidate Rohan Khaunte had reportedly extended support to the party.
Also, informal talks were on with three legislators of the Goa Forward Party on Saturday, before the BJP stole the march on its rival after it could not muster the numbers to capture power.
Congress’ lone woman legislator Jeniffer Monserratte representing Taleigao constituency said, “Our party leaders are to be blamed for the failure to form the government.”
“People had given us the mandate but party leaders failed to respect it. It is entirely their fault,” she said.
Similarly, senior leader and Curtorim legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said that the people wanted the Congress to form the government but party leaders miserably failed to honour the verdict.
“Why should we blame someone for forming the government, when we failed in our responsibility? We were 17 in number,” Lourenco said, adding, “people wanted us to form the government and hence, they had rejected the BJP. But we failed to give people their government…”.
(With inputs from the PTI)