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Manohar Parrikar has hijacked popular mandate in Goa: Digvijaya Singh

Manohar Parrikar has hijacked popular mandate in Goa: Digvijaya Singh

Panaji: On a day the BJP cobbled up a coalition to stake claim to form the next government in Goa under Manohar Parrikar, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Monday accused the Defence Minister of “hijacking” the popular mandate.

“It is absolutely wrong on the part of the BJP to grab power when the mandate was given to the Congress by the voters (by virtue of being the single largest party),” AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said.

The BJP has won only 13 seats in the 40-member House as the poll results threw a hung Assembly with the Congress emerging as the single largest party with 17 seats. In 2012 Assembly polls the BJP had won 21 seats.

Singh said being the single largest party, the Congress had the “first right as well as the popular mandate” to form government, which has been “hijacked by Parrikar.”

“Parrikar has brought down the morality of politics in the country. His act of indulging in horse-trading has affected the morale of Goan politicians,” he said.

Stealing a march on the Congress, the BJP today staked claim to form the next government in Goa under his leadership, with the support of two Independents, three members each of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), and of the lone NCP member taking the tally of the coalition to 22.

The party members led by the Defence Minister called on Governor Mridula Sinha this evening to formally stake the claim to form government.

Deploring the BJP’s move, Digvijay said, “It is absolutely wrong on the part of the BJP to grab power when the mandate was given to the Congress by the voters (by virtue of being the single largest party).”

Singh said being the single largest party, the Congress had the “first right as well as the popular mandate” to form government, which has been “hijacked by Parrikar.”

“Parrikar has brought down the morality of politics in the country. His act of indulging in horse-trading has affected the morale of Goan politicians,” he said.

The Congress was apparently counting on the support of the GFP which has won three seats in its debut election. However, the BJP succeeded in keeping the Congress at bay.

The GFP initially had an adjustment with the Congress, but the latter fielded its nominees against Vijai Sairdesai in Fatorda and Vinod Palyekar in Siolim. Another debutant MLA of the party is Jayesh Salgaonkar from Saligaon.

Digvijay had said the Congress has the numbers to form government, but the BJP was indulged in “horse-trading” to reach the majority mark.

“BJP has been involved in horse-trading, promising sums, ministries, corporations and SUVs to non-BJP MLAs to get their support.

“I have never seen in any other state where a political party which has been outrightly rejected, where the CM has lost, six ministers have lost, yet they are staking claim to form the government,” he told reporters.

In afternoon, the newly-elected BJP MLAs passed a resolution urging party chief Amit Shah to nominate Parrikar as the leader of the legislature party.

The GFP leader Vijai Sardesai told media persons they are extending support to the BJP to provide stable government in the coastal state.

“We are supporting BJP to have stability in the government. We don’t want development of the state to hinder due to instability,” he said.

The MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar said his party has supported the BJP on the condition that only Parrikar heads the state government.

“We have given the letter of support to the BJP only because of Parrikar. Without him, we would not have supported the BJP to form the next government,” he said.

Among the local outfits who have extended support to BJP, the MGP was the erstwhile ally in outgoing BJP government, before it pulled out ahead of polls last month in protest against the leadership of former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

MGP candidates Sudin Dhavlikar, Deepak Pawaskar and Manohar Ajgaonkar have won from Madkai, Sanvordem, and Pernem seats, respectively.

The Independent candidates who have extended support are Rohan Khaunte (Porvorim) and Govind Gawde (Priol).

PTI