The Congress never had the numbers to form a government in Goa and was throwing around allegations to create hype, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday minutes after sailing through a crucial trust vote.(LIVE COVERAGE)
The BJP won the support of 12 of its own MLAs – excluding pro-tem speaker Sidharth Kuncalienker -- three each from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Forward Party, three independent lawmakers and a Nationalist Congress Party legislator.
“We have proved before the people of India, we had support of 23 and we proved it on the floor of house,” Parrikar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Twenty two legislators backed the BJP-led coalition, potentially drawing the curtains on a dramatic government formation process in the coastal state. The opposition Congress could only muster 16 in the 40-member assembly as MLA Vishwajeet Rane abstained from the floor test.
“Everyone voluntarily came and voted, none of them were kept in a hotel room or secluded common place as was the case of opposition,” Parrikar added.
The floor test was ordered by the Supreme Court after the Congress approached the top court three days ago, alleging that governor Mridula Sinha had broken the law by not calling the single-largest party, the Congress, to form the government.
The BJP finished behind the Congress in Goa but pushed ahead with government formation hours after assembly election results were declared on March 11.
“Digvijaya’s claims that they have numbers have been debunked. Right from the beginning, they didn’t have the number,” Parrikar told reporters. “It was only hype possibly because there was a demand that was coming that Digvijaya step down as general secretary.”
Manohar Parrikar resigned as Union defence minister a couple of days later and returned to Goa – where he was chief minister twice before – to cobble together a coalition. This triggered allegations from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi that the BJP was stealing the electoral mandate by throwing money to legislators.
After winning the vote, Parrikar turned his attention to policy matters, laying out the schedule for swearing-in of more ministers and passage of the state budget. But he refused to speculate on whether he would appoint a deputy CM or seek the support of Rane.