Parrikar resigns as Defence Minister; heads for Goa in bid to form govt : The Tribune India

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Parrikar resigns as Defence Minister; heads for Goa in bid to form govt

MUMBAI: Backed by the smaller outfits and Independents, the BJP on Sunday staked claim to form next government in Goa under the leadership of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Parrikar resigns as Defence Minister; heads for Goa in bid to form govt

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI



Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, March 12

Backed by the smaller outfits and Independents, the BJP on Sunday staked claim to form next government in Goa under the leadership of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.  

Parrikar's associates told The Tribune in the evening that he has resigned as Defence Minister.

However, addressing the media later, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is BJP's election in-charge for Goa, said Parrikar will resign as Defence Minister after the party gets an invite from the Governor to form government. 

Earlier, newly-elected BJP MLAs unanimously backed Parrikar as the state legislature party leader, even as the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) said it will support a government led by Parrikar.

The BJP, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward leaders met Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan and staked the claim to form government. 

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Addressing the media after meeting the Governor, Gadkari said, “We have handed over letters of support from 21 MLAs to the Governor.”

“We met the Governor, expecting an invitation. Once we receive it, we will consult our colleagues and decide the date for swearing-in,” said Parrikar who was sitting beside Gadkari. 

The BJP is set now to form the government in the coastal state despite emerging as the second largest party behind the Congress.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar resigned from his post after the BJP legislature party voted to bring him back as Chief Minister, according to sources in Goa. Parrikar held the top job before being reluctantly moved to the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

It is, however, not clear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted his resignation.

The BJP has bagged the support of the Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party which have three seats in the 40-member state assembly. The BJP, which has 13 members, has managed to obtain the support of two Independent MLAs giving it a wafer-thin majority.

The BJP is also wooing Churchill Alemao, the lone NCP MLA and the third Independent, to shore up its numbers.

The Congress won 17 seats in the state assembly elections.

All through the day, the Congress and the BJP were wooing Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in order to form a coalition government.

The MGP was the first to come on board by adopting a resolution that it would support a BJP-led government in Goa provided it was headed by Parrikar.

Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardessai also praised Parrikar for his leadership skills.

The BJP also aggressively played its minority card with its seven Catholic MLAs seeking the support of the secular Goa Forward on the grounds that the BJP has more MLAs from the minority community for the first time.

"We seven members of minority are appealing to Goa Forward, MGP and Independents to support us and form a stable government in Goa," BJP MLA Michael Lobo told reporters in Panjim.

Meanwhile, infighting broke out in the Congress camp with GPCC president Luizinho Faleiro coming under fire for alienating Vijai Sardessai of Goa Forward. Congress MLAs want Luizinho sacked.

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