Goa CM Manohar Parrikar unwell, Opposition Congress stakes claim to form government in state

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With Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar hospitalised, Goas main opposition Congress party submitted a memorandum to Governor Mridula Sinha Monday, staking claim to form an alternate government. The move came at a time when the BJP high command has sent three senior leaders – Ram Lal, B L Santhosh and Vinay Puranik – here to meet the state party leaders and allies to take stock of the political situation. Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, is currently admitted in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment. The Congress, which has 16 members in the 40-member state Assembly, submitted a memorandum to the Governor, urging her not to dissolve the Assembly and instead invite the party to form the government, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said. He said the BJP has a habit of forcing Governors Rule in a state where they fail to rule and the Congress will not allow to happen it. Goa is being ruled by the BJP-led Alliance headed by Parrikar. The BJP has 14 seats in the Assembly, its allies Goa Forward Party and MGP have three each. Three Independents and an MLA from Nationalist Congress Party also support the BJP. All the 16 Congress MLAs, led by Kavlekar, went to the Raj Bhavan but could not meet the governor as she is out of the state. The party urged the governor not to consider dissolution of the state Legislative Assembly, which is a possibility considering internal fighting in the ruling alliance and illness of Parrikar, Kavlekar told PTI. He said the Congress has support of legislators from other parties and can form the government, if given a chance by governor. We will prove our majority on the floor of the House, he said. Earlier, BJP leader Ram Lal said the Goa government is stable and no demand has been made for a change in the leadership. He stated this after a meeting with party MLAs, former legislators and core committee members. He said the BJPs alliance partners – the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Independents – conveyed that they will agree to any political decision taken by the saffron party. Kavlekar said that the state is not in a position to face another election within one-and-half year due to whims and fancies of BJP. Having another election means stress on the state exchequer, he said. Earlier too, the Congress had staked claim on May 18, 2018 to form the government in Goa, citing the example of Karnataka where the largest party BJP was invited to form the government after the Assembly polls threw up a fractured verdict. The Congress had said that it had not been invited to form the government in Goa after the Assembly polls in March last year despite it emerging as the largest single party. The party had also met Governor on September 7, 2018 urging her to intervene as State Administration was suffering due to sickness of the Chief Minister.