Nitin Gadkari holds talks with BJP, MGP leaders to select CM; all congress MLA in Goa to meet Governor

PTI

BJP and Congress Logo

BJP and Congress Logo

All 14 Congress MLAs in Goa were on the way to Raj Bhawan on Monday to meet Governor Mridula Sinha to stake claim to form a government in the state following the demise of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) met in Panaji on Monday morning.

The leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said the party MLAs decided to walk to the Raj Bhawan uninvited after the governor refused to give them an appointment.

The opposition party had written to her, staking claim to form the government on Friday and then again on Sunday.

“We are a majority party in the House and still have to struggle to get the appointment. We demand that we be invited to form the government under the circumstances where the (BJP-led) government does not exist after Parrikar’s demise,” Kavlekar said.

The Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs while the BJP has 12 in the 40-member Assembly.

The strength of the House has now been reduced to 36 due to the demise of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza earlier this year and Parrikar on Sunday and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte last year.

The Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have three MLAs each, while the NCP has one. There are Independents as well.

The GFP, the MGP and Independents are part of the Parrikar government.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Monday held talks here with party leaders and alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) to select a new Goa chief minister following the death of Manohar Parrikar.

The BJP-led coalition in Goa began discussions on Sunday night to find a new leader to replace Parrikar, who had died earlier in the evening.

Parrikar, 63, was heading a coalition government comprising the BJP, the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the MGP and Independents.

Gadkari arrived in the coastal state past midnight and resumed the talks with leaders of the BJP and MGP at a hotel near Panaji in the morning.

BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane, MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar, who are aspirants for the chief minister’s post, attended the meeting. A third contender, Pramod Sawant, who is currently the speaker, was not present.

Leaders of the GFP were not called for the meeting.

Dhavalikar said clarity on the leadership issue was expected by 3 pm.

Congress is the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs. The BJP has 12 legislators in the 40-member Goa assembly.

The GFP, MGP and Independents have three MLAs each while the NCP has one legislator.

(PTI)