Manohar Parrikar dead: With Manohar Parrikar’s demise on Sunday, the BJP-led coalition in Goa will now speed up its search for his successor to assume the post of the state’s chief minister. Opposition party Congress is also expected to intensify staking claim to form the government in the state.
Parrikar, who died of a pancreatic ailment at his private residence, was heading a coalition government comprising the BJP, MGP, Goa Forward Party and the Independents.
“With CM Parrikar’s demise, the ruling coalition will have to make a fresh representation to the governor after choosing their leader. The representation will have the letter of support,” a senior official from State Legislature Department told PTI, adding that if the governor, Mridula Sinha, is not convinced, she will have to the single largest party to form the government.
The political activity in Goa stepped up after Congress staked claim to the government on Saturday. In a letter to Governor Mridula Sen, the party had claimed that the Manohar Parrikar dispensation has lost its majority in the Assembly following the demise of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza. And after the Congress dispatched a letter to the Goa governor, the BJP called for an “emergency meeting” at the party headquarters in Panaji. After the news of Parrikar’s broke, the coalition partners have again called emergency meetings. The three Goa Forward Party MLAs led by Vijai Sardesai and the MGP’s three MLAs will meet separately later in the evening.
The Congress is currently the single-largest party in Goa with 14 MLAs in the 40-member House. The BJP had 13 legislators, including Parrikar and its government is supported by three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtra Gomantak Party, and three Independents. The strength of the House has now been reduced to 36 due to demise of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza earlier this year, and Parrikar on Sunday, and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte last year.
The death of the former defence minister, who represented the Panaji assembly seat, will also necessitate a fourth bypoll in Goa, where by-elections are scheduled for the Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa assembly constituencies on April 23. These bypolls will be held in the state along with the Lok Sabha polls.
(With inputs from PTI)