Without Manohar Parrikar, the alliance became tough for the BJP; in an overnight meet after the death of Parrikar, the Goa BJP allies’ talk went tough. As the BJP struggled to keep its flock together, the Goa Congress wrote to Governor Mridula Sinha for the second time in 48 hours, staking claim to form the government stating that after Parrikar’s death, the BJP has no allies and the Congress, being the single largest party, is entitled to form the next government. However, in spite of all the drill and tough bargains, somewhere BJP nailed it in their favour with keeping Dr. Pramod Sawant at the front for the new Chief Ministerial post while throwing a pound of flesh to their key allies and accepting their demand for the Deputy CM’s posts.
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said, “Manohar Parrikar was the leader of common man and as the Chief Minister of Goa, he did a great job. Even after being the CM, he lived a very simple life. His way of work was aggressive and productive. Inspired by his dedication towards people and politics, PM Narendra Modi appointed him as the Defence Minister. The death of Parrikar will not only affect the BJP in Goa but also on a national level. Congress is politicising the death of Parrikar which is not good. Congress leaders should behave like mature politicians.”
In the late night meeting of the BJP and its allies, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s (MGP) Sudin Dhavalikar insisted on the Chief Minister’s post, according to BJP lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly Michael Lobo. There was also a political logjam after MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar demanded the Chief Minister’s post but the BJP wanted someone as the successor from their own party.
Dr. Pramod Sawant, who is the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly, represents the Sanquelim constituency in the Goa Legislative Assembly. BJP lawmaker Michael Lobo told Afternoon Voice, “BJP has come up with a good choice but the alliance parties too need to be agreed on the choice that party makes.”
Meanwhile, Congress’s Digambar Kamat, a former chief minister, has been in the middle of buzz after his sudden trip to Delhi amid reports that he was being persuaded by the BJP. However, he denied that he was in Delhi to meet BJP leadership. While speaking to Afternoon Voice Digambar Kamat asserted, “There was no question of meeting anybody, these are just speculations but my programme in Delhi was decided 2-3 days ago. I don’t get any offers from BJP; these are the planted stories by vested interests. I’m not bothered about the leadership or the Chief Minister’s post; I am always with my party and would work as long as possible.”
In the 2017 Goa polls, when the Congress emerged as the largest party in a hung verdict, it was Nitin Gadkari who had negotiated alliances to establish a BJP-led coalition with Manohar Parrikar – the then Union Defence Minister – as the Chief Minister. Manohar Parrikar died on Sunday night after a yearlong battle with cancer. He led the government with allies like the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward Party, and Independents. The BJP-led coalition government has a razor-thin majority after the death of lawmaker Francis D’Souza and the resignation of two Congress lawmakers. The strength of the Goa Assembly stands at 37 instead of 40. The Congress has 14 lawmakers and BJP has 13 in the assembly.
Former Goa CM and Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane expressed, “As far as the current political scenario of Goa is concerned, we are sure of forming the government as we have the required majority. We also wanted other regional political parties to support us so that a leader from our party can become the Chief Minister of the state. Our leaders have been Chief Ministers in the past and put the state on a path of development.”