Manohar Parrikar has been sworn-in as the new chief minister of Goa for a fourth time. Parrikar, who resigned as union Defence Minister on Sunday, took oath as the chief minister of Goa to head a coalition government.
Parrikar took oath along with nine MLAs including two members of the BJP, three of the Goa Forward Party, two of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two Independents.
The oath took place on Tuesday evening after a go ahead from the Supreme Court, who refused to stay the swearing-in ceremony on a plea by the Congress.
Three days ago, on the day of counting of results, the BJP (13 seats) ended up finishing second largest party in the state behind the Congress (17 seats). With the fractured mandate, the BJP managed to stitch together an alliance.
Parrikar was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha at the Raj Bhawan, two days after she invited Parrikar to form government and asked him to prove majority on the floor of the House within 15 days.
“Regional parties have taken the lead to form this government and have requested me to lead them by resigning as defence minister,” said Parrikar.
He also said the portfolios will be alloted after the new government proves majority on floor of the Legislative Assembly.
BJP president Amit Shah and Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Earlier in the day the Supreme Court directed that the floor test be conducted on March 16. It cleared the decks for Parrikar’s oath taking by refusing a plea of the Congress to stay the ceremony, saying the BJP has shown the support of 21 out of the 40 newly- elected MLAs.
Parrikar’s anointment came amid an intense tug-of-war between the BJP and the Congress, which has questioned the legitimacy of the saffron party’s bid to power given it has failed to secure the popular mandate.
The BJP has enlisted support of three MLAs each of the MGP and GFP and two Independents to attain the halfway mark of 21 in the 40-member Assembly.
In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, MGP (3), GFP (3), NCP (1) and Independents (3).
(With inputs from PTI)