Estranged allies, an angry RSS faction and anti-incumbency have left the BJP with only 13 of a possible 40 seats in Goa, but former chief minister and current Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar still believes the party can cobble together enough allies to form the government.
At a press conference, Parrikar said “Many have expressed to side with BJP instead of Congress.”
To form a government, the BJP would need at least eight more seats, three of which could come from Sudin Dhavalikar’s Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party – a former ally, while Vijay Sardesai’s Goa Forward Party could contribute another three more. The party would then have to get two more independents on board.
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In 2000, Parrikar pulled together a shaky coalition when the BJP had only 10 members in assembly, but the government collapsed two years later. This time observers believe that Parrikar and the BJP would rather let the Congress build a shaky coalition and watch it collapse, than pull together a vulnerable formation of their own.
While some in the BJP have suggested that former deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza could head a coalition government; sources said only Parrikar could manage a coalition with personalities as mercurial as Dhavalikar and Sardesai.
But for that, the BJP’s wily strategist would have to give up his office as Defence Minister and return to Goa.