Allies outnumber the BJP in Manohar Parrikar’s council of ministers in Goa.
Former defence minister Parrikar took oath as the chief minister of Goa for the fourth time on Tuesday after the BJP cobbled up a coalition with two regional parties and some Independent MLAs.
Goa voted a hung House with the Congress getting the most, 17, seats. But it was the BJP, which finished second with 13 seats in the 40-member assembly, that beat the Congress in cobbling up a ruling alliance.
Along with Parrikar, governor Mridula Sinha administered oath of office to nine ministers at a simple ceremony attended by BJP president Amit Shah and union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and JP Nadda.
Other than Parrikar, the BJP will have only two members, Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar, in the council of minister.
Three ministers -- Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaonkar – are from the Goa Forward Party. Two of the three Maharashtrawdi Gomantak Party MLAs, Sudin Dhavalikar and Manohar Azgaonkar, too, made the cut with Independent legislators Govind Gawde and Rohan Khaunte.
The allocation of portfolios would be done after the floor test on Thursday, Parrikar said.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the day turned down a Congress plea to stay the oath ceremony but ordered Parrikar to prove his majority in the House on Thursday.
Though the Congress failed to get court relief, its workers held a protest demonstration outside the Raj Bhawan. A party delegation met the governor to express anguish over not being invited to form the government despite being the single largest party.
“If they (Congress) had the majority, they should have gone to the governor instead of approaching the court,” Parrikar said.
Infighting within the Congress was the reason that regional parties and independents decided to join hands with BJP, Parrikar said.
“The people of Goa have not forgotten that during 1992 and 2000 the Congress party had 12 chief ministers. Development of the state had stopped during that period. Even now after winning 17 seats, they are still fighting. No one wants to go with them,” he said.
Prospects of a stable government, development of Goa and ideals of Goenkarpon (interest of Goa) made the allies team up with the BJP.
“They (allies) had just one condition to form the government: Modi ji sends me back to Goa as the CM,” he said. “This government will last for 365 days into five years.”
Another Independent MLA, Prasad Gaonkar had submitted letter of support, the chief minister said.
It takes the strength of the ruling coalition to 22, one above the majority mark.
Parrying criticism that he did not have the majority support, Parrikar said with alliance partners his government’s vote share had touched 50.5%. “The mandate was fractured but every fraction has been stitched together,” he said.
The chief minister said a common minimum programme would be announced a month later after consultations with colleagues and alliance partners. “The first common minimum programme was to come together,” the 61-year-old said.