Manohar Parrikar is set to take oath as the chief minister of Goa on Tuesday after the Bharatiya Janata Party cobbled a coalition to form a government in the state even as the Congress cried foul.
Parrikar resigned as defence minister on Monday.
“I have tendered my resignation as defence minister and have sent it to the PMO. I will be taking the oath (as Goa chief minister) tomorrow evening, along with the cabinet ministers,” Parrikar told PTI.
The size of the cabinet is yet to be decided.
“The decision on the number of ministers and other issues are being currently worked out. Once the cabinet is finalised, we will inform the media,” Parrikar said.
Goa governor Mridula Sinha invited Parrikar to form the next government after he submitted a letter of support from 21 legislators on Sunday.
The BJP, which came second by winning 13 seats in the 40-member assembly managed to garner support from other parties and Independents to attain majority and derail the Congress, which had emerged as the largest party with 17 seats.
Three MLAs from the Goa Forward Party, three from the MGP and two Independents have pledged their support to Parrikar. The lone NCP MLA was also claimed to have extended support.
As the BJP check-mated the Congress, the grand old party was left fuming.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram accused the BJP of “stealing” elections in Goa and Manipur, saying a party which came second had “no right” to form the government.
A party that comes second has no right to form the Government. BJP stealing elections in Goa and Manipur.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 13, 2017
Another Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of Goa, lashed out at the BJP, suggesting that the party misused money to subvert democracy.
“Money Power has won over People’s Power. I apologise to the People of Goa as we couldn’t muster the support to form the Government (sic),” he tweeted.
Money Power has won over People's Power. I apologise to the People of Goa as we couldn't muster the support to form the Govt.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) March 13, 2017
But the Congress leadership came under fire from the Goa legislators, a development that indicated all was not well in the party.
A group of Congress legislators said they were “upset” and blamed the top leaders for the failure to form the government.
“I am very upset with the way our party leaders handled the situation after the (Goa assembly poll) results, which gave us the first right -- as the single largest party -- to form the government. I feel let down at the functioning of the party leaders who could not take a decision at the right time,” said Vishwajit Rane, who won from the Valpoi constituency.
He said “gross mismanagement” by party leaders and the “delay” in choosing the Congress legislature party (CLP) leader hurt them.
Soon after the results threw up a hung assembly, Independent candidate Rohan Khaunte had extended support to the party. The Congress had also started informal talks with three legislators of the Goa Forward Party on Saturday.
Congress’ lone woman legislator Jeniffer Monserratte, who represents the Taleigao constituency, said, “Our party leaders are to be blamed for the failure to form the government.”
Senior leader and Curtorim legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco too said the people wanted the Congress to form the government but party leaders miserably failed to honour the verdict.
“Why should we blame someone for forming the government when we failed in our responsibility? We were 17 in number,” Lourenco said.