CM Manohar Parrikar back in Goa, ally sends BJP video reminder on its ‘commitment’
A day after chief minister Manohar Parrikar returned to Goa, a minister from an alliance partner cautioned the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against dissolving the state assembly even as the opposition Congress staked claim to form the next government.
Parrikar, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, started interacting with his family members on Monday although doctors have advised him rest for a week. In a video statement, Goa Forward Party leader and minister Vijay Sardesai called on the ruling BJP to keep its ‘word’ that the government would last its full term. “The onus is on them (the BJP) and they will have to fulfil their commitment that this government will complete its full term and get the continued support of the Central government as was seen in the past,” Sardesai said. “BJP national president Amit Shah has assured me that the BJP national leadership is not interested in having a mid-term poll or to dissolve the assembly. As such, when our commitment is there and their commitment is also there, the onus of this government continuing for the full five-year term lies with the central BJP leadership,” he added.
The coalition partners — Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independents — had made Parrikar’s leadership conditional to them joining the alliance.
The chief minister’s office said Parrikar’s health was improving. “He had a chat with his family members today morning,” said Rupesh Kamat, press secretary to the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the Congress in a letter to the President Ram Nath Kovind said it should be given an opportunity to form the government. “We (had) petitioned the Goa governor that we are staking claim to form the government and that there should be no decision to dissolve the house without exploring the option of inviting our party to form the government.
For this reason it is imperative that you issue instructions and guide the governor of Goa, so that there is no constitutional overreach to seek a dissolution by foul play,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar said in his letter.
Officials familiar with the matter said the current situation of flux was “not ideal” but there was no option in the absence of an alternative to Parrikar. “Appointing a new chief minister will involve once again securing support from allies, which brings its own uncertainties,” said a minister in the government who did not wish to be named. The BJP quelled fears that Parrikar’s leadership was being reconsidered.
“He is a CM of the coalition for five years. He will complete that tenure and he will attend to work soon,” Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar told reporters.