Hours after winning the trust vote in the Goa assembly on Thursday, chief minister Manohar Parrikar took a veiled dig at the Congress leadership, saying he was happy to be back in Goa.
“The Congress never had the numbers....this is what happens when you come to Goa only to holiday, not to work,” Parrikar told NDTV in an interview. Though he didn’t name anyone, it was an apparent jibe aimed at Digvijaya Singh, the Congress general secretary in charge of Goa.
Though Singh had rushed to Goa after the results were out on March 11, he failed to cobble up an alliance as a smart BJP leadership wasted little time in securing the crucial support from two regional parties and three Independents.
Both the BJP and the Congress fell short of the majority mark in the 40-member Goa assembly. But the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats.
Parrikar, who resigned as Union defence minister to be Goa’s chief minister, also admitted that it was “quite problematic health-wise to stay in Delhi”. He couldn’t move his family to the national capital, and said he didn’t have any friends in Delhi.
Information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu lauded Parrikar’s decision to return to Goa. He told reporters on Thursday, “To leave the post of the defence minister of the country and go back to Goa requires a lot of political guts.”
The Congress leadership faced criticism from local MLAs after failing to snatch the state from the BJP. During his meeting with Goa MLAs, Singh reportedly faced tough questions from lawmakers.
Thursday’s floor test was also an embarrassment for the Congress as it had earlier announced that Parrikar would not last beyond two days. It had also questioned the governor’s decision to give the BJP a chance to form the government first.