Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar took charge on Wednesday in his fourth stint in the top job after his party cobbled together a coalition with regional parties and independents to pip the Congress to the majority mark.
Goa voted a hung House in the recently concluded assembly elections, with the Congress getting the most seats (17 in the 40-member assembly). But the BJP, which finished second with 13 seats, beat the Congress in forming a ruling alliance.
Parrikar acknowledged his party’s below-par performance in Goa in the five-state elections that saw the BJP registering landslide victories in Uttarakhand and the battleground state of Uttar Pradesh.
The loss of many ministers in Goa indicates that there was something wrong in the governance in the past two and half years, Parrikar told news agency ANI. “...let me identify that aspect,” ANI quoted him as saying.
The former defence minister also expressed confidence that he will be able to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Thursday. “The number is very clear. So, I don’t see any reason that there has to be any apprehension,” he said. The trust vote was ordered by the Supreme Court after the Congress complained that the governor had broken laws by not inviting the single-largest party to form the government.
Parrikar was Goa CM when he was appointed the Union defence minister in 2014. He was succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar, who lost his own seat this time.
The opposition party has accused the BJP of stealing the people’s mandate. Even on Wednesday, Congress’ Digvijaya Singh took a dig at Parrikar and posted on Twitter:
Manohar Parrikar is an expert in Fishing in Troubled Waters which is the reason he has sacrificed his Defence Ministry to become CM in Goa.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) March 15, 2017
Congress leader Meem Afzal said misusing money and cheating were methods that the BJP had always used for political benefits.
But there are indications that not all was well in the Congress.
Days after a group of Goa leaders blamed the high command for the failure to form the government, MLA Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday that he, along with five to six other MLAs, will quit if party vice-president Rahul Gandhi did not respond adequately.
Rane and his group of legislators wrote a letter to Gandhi complaining about the senior Congress leadership. Rane asserted that it was shocking how the whole situation was mismanaged by people in charge of the affairs in Goa.